17 June 2008

Dáil debates the Aftermath of the Referendum

Today the Taoiseach has outlined his approach for Thursday's summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

Brian Cowen said during a debate in Dáil Éireann that he will tell his European colleagues the people of Ireland have spoken and he accepts the result.

He told the House that there is a need for the EU and not just Ireland to examine what this vote means, and to find a way forward.

He was replying to questions from Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny on whether he had received an agenda for Thursday's summit.

The Taoiseach said that he will be aiming to reflect in Brussels "the range and depth of debate that occurred here".

The Cabinet was earlier briefed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin on the outcome of yesterday's discussions with his EU colleagues in Luxembourg.
He said that all the other states wanted to work with Ireland to find a solution to the situation, and no one had been hostile to him or "pointed a finger of blame towards Ireland".

Tomorrow the Dáil is to debate the Lisbon Treaty for more than five hours. Apart from leader's questions, ministerial questions and private members' business in the evening, the entire Dáil schedule has been cleared to allow members to debate the fallout from last week's referendum.

The European Parliament, sitting in Luxembourg, will also debate the implications of the Irish NO vote tomorrow.

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