Last updated: 7:56 PM BST 13/06/2008
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, is working with European Union officials and diplomats to plan a special "legal arrangement" to bypass
's referendum rejection. Ireland
Mr Sarkozy takes over the EU's rotating presidency in July and will be tasked with resurrecting, for a second time, Lisbon Treaty proposals first contained in the European Constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters three years ago.
Diplomats and officials have no intention of letting the Irish no vote sink a blueprint to boost the EU's powers on the international stage and to create a President of Europe.
Gordon Brown has already phoned
Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the French Europe Minister, has hinted that
"The most important thing is that the ratification process must continue in the other countries and then we shall see with the Irish what type of legal arrangement could be found," he said.
"We must remain within the framework of the
Eight countries are still engaged in parliamentary ratification of the Treaty but are expected to have finished, without any upsets by the autumn.
Plans to find a "mechanism" keeping
Mr Brown will join Mr Sarkozy and other EU leaders at a
Brian Cowen, the Irish Taoiseach, is expected to support the calls for ratification to continue in other countries and to plead that
But the British Prime Minister will face strong domestic calls for Parliament's ratification of the Treaty to be halted.
The Conservatives will revive demands for a British referendum as a ICM poll yesterday found that Britons would vote against the Lisbon Treaty by 51 per cent to 28 per cent.
Neil O'Brien, Director of Open Europe, said: "The argument for a referendum in
Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, argued that the EU must honour the Irish vote, the only referendum to place on the Treaty in the EU's 27 member states.
"I suspect that the EU extremists will simply try to ignore it as they did the French and Dutch results," he said.
"The third reading of the treaty in the House of Lords next week must be halted because the project now has no legitimacy."
There are advanced plans in Brussels for a "bridging mechanism" to allow Ireland to be removed from the list of signatories to the Lisbon Treaty after the EU's 26 other member states have ratified it.'
Ireland will continue to remain in the euro and be covered by existing Treaties but will be left out of the creation of an EU president and foreign minister, which would proceed as planned.
By late 2009 or early 2010, when
Incorporated into it would be a series of protocol texts giving paper "opt-outs" on controversial Irish EU issues, such as taxation powers or greater military co-operation.
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