Ireland votes No - what next?
Ireland has voted No to Lisbon. For European Union politicians who back the treaty it is indeed an unlucky Friday 13th. But what will they do?
The plan is that all other countries will press ahead with backing the treaty. I am told Gordon Brown has phoned the French president to assure him that is what he will do. But this surely is just a holding pattern. Without Ireland on board Lisbon is dead.
The ball is in the court of the Irish prime minister. Many politicians in Europe will hope that he will, at some later date, call another referendum. It's likely that even some No campaigners in Ireland will urge him to go back and demand some concessions. If he went down that route Brian Cowen would be taking a grave political gamble, risking another No. If the EU demands another vote it will hardly enhance its reputation for democratic accountability.