Well. Kudos for opening the can of Lisbon worms, Donncha. I’m afraid the earlier remarks about spilled “goodwill” has truth in it – the memories of the rejected Nice treaty are still fresh. Having said that, I’m not too sure how the Irish “no” measures up to the rejections in the Netherlands and France of the immediate precursor of Lisbon, “constitution” issue – which in those two countries were tossed out for mostly very different, non-constitution issue related reasons (i.e. in France, much resentment against EU-borne directives that undermine the French more pro-welfare mindset, and in the Netherlands much resentment against a failure of their own government to explain the relevance of EU policies which is exploited by populists blaming the EU for national disconnects). My big problem with the French and Dutch rejection is that it didn’t reflect on the necessity of institutional EU reform (addressed via the Constitution) but instead used / abused the referendum to vent on EU perceptions.

In other words, and as much as I try, I’m still not too clear what it is that the Irish said “no” to in the Lisbon bandaid package to “patch up” the hole created by the French and Dutch naysayers: I hear lots of arguments, but few that stick out and none that relate to the Lisbon treaty itself.

So, what am I missing or not reading that more adequately explains the Irish rejection of Lisbon? I mean, reflexive anti-EU arguments aside, as those have a very simple cure in the pursuit of a referendum to opt out of the EU altogether.