Britain says Lisbon Treaty "last rites" up to the Irish
Secretary David Miliband said Sunday that Ireland shouldn't be
"bulldozed" into a re-run of the EU's Lisbon Treaty which the country
rejected in a referendum this week.
Miliband told the BBC that the Irish decision has to be respected and he added that it was up to Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen whether to "apply the last rites" to the treaty aimed at making the 27-member bloc more efficient.
Irish voters rejected the treaty by 53.4 per cent to 46.6 per cent in Thursday's referendum. The government hasn't ruled out putting the treaty before the people for a second time.
Miliband said it was "absolutely clear" that the treaty cannot come into effect unless it is endorsed by every EU member. He also rejected the concept of a "two-speed Europe," by which some countries would band together for closer integration, saying "that was the agenda of 1990, not the 21st century."
The foreign secretary added that Britain would continue with the treaty ratification process in parliament. To date the treaty has been ratified in 18 national parliaments. Ireland is the only country to hold a public referendum on the treaty aimed at replacing the EU Constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters.
Britain's opposition Conservative Party has said they would hold a referendum on the treaty if in power.
EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday to discuss the way forward. They will hear from Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin on why the Irish voted no, dpa reported.