France uncertain of how to react to Irish treaty rejection
French leaders appear not have come up with a concerted reaction to an eventual rejection of the EU's Lisbon Treaty in the Irish referendum, reported dpa.
On Friday, the French minister for European affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, told LCI television that if the Irish have voted no on the treaty, "the ratification process (must) continue in other countries."
In addition, Jouyet said that a "legal arrangement" between Ireland and the 26 other EU member nations must then be agreed.
However, late Thursday, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on France 2 television that an Irish rejection would mean "there is no more Lisbon Treaty."
"We will see what measure must be taken" in case of a no vote, Fillon said.
The issue is important to the French, who assume the rotating EU presidency on July 1 and would have to deal with the fall-out of an Irish rejection.
In addition, the French fear that some of their ambitious plans for their six-month presidency would have to be put on the back burner while the union wrestles with the repercussions of the vote.