By Tim Montgomerie
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Ireland is going to have another one of those double referenda on EU treaties. You know the ones. They vote the 'wrong' way the first time and then a few months later vote the 'right' way. The Irish government had hoped to avoid a vote but legal advice from the Attorney General made a vote impossible to duck.
Guido is very excited that the Irish will reject Fiscal Union on the basis that they don't want to bailout the bankers. I hope he's right. The greater likelihood is that the €uro will break up in some way before any Fiscal Union treaty is ratified. That, I understand, is the view of Number 11.
Martin Callanan, leader of Tory MEPs and Chairman of the ECR Group, has issued this statement:
"This treaty was designed with this eventuality in mind. That is why only 12 of the 17 euro zone countries need to ratify it before it comes into force. Unfortunately, that seems to be how democracy works in the EU these days. This treaty does nothing to solve the immediate crisis. At best it is a distraction from the real economic problems we face. The fiscal compact effectively renders socialist high-spending policies illegal. As a fiscal conservative I should be delighted. However, a nation's economic destiny should be determined by the people through a ballot box, not political elites in a room in Brussels."