To absolutely nobody's surprise the Irish Minister for European Affairs, Dick Roche, has announced that the second Irish referendum will be held in the autumn.
He added that as part of the process of steering its way out of recession Ireland needed to secure its position within the European Union.He remained a little vague on how exactly the treaty will improve Ireland's economic position but, perhaps, vagueness is all that one can offer at this stage.
Speaking in Berlin to the German Council on Foreign Relations, the Minister said he wanted to deliver the message that Ireland was coming to grips with its problems and taking decisive action to bring the Government's finances under control, ensure the health of the banking system and improve competitiveness.
Over on ToryBoy blog Jonathan Isaby, correctly in our opinion, is predicting a possible unwelcome headache for David Cameron as a result of the Irish referendum. Then again, the probability of an autumn vote has been very high for some time. David Cameron et al should have been prepared and the words "we shall not let matters rest there" are not exactly an indication of preparedness.
The Czech Senate will be voting on the treaty tomorrow (Wednesday, May 6) and it looks like it will pass, though there will remain the question of the presidential signature. President Klaus has, so far, insisted that he would wait for the second Irish result. Poland's President still has not signed it and Germany has not ratified either [scroll down to second question].