The Irish 'No' vote is an extraordinary result in a country where the vast majority of the political, business, media and cultural establishment is devoted to the EU project.
It demonstrates the considerable opposition to the centralisation of power in Brussels that the EU Constitution / Lisbon treaty has provoked.
Not even the last-minute intervention of the Pope could, in the end, swing a 'Yes' vote.
Open Europe very usefully give us the top reasons people had decided to vote 'No' to the Lisbon treaty, taken from the last Irish Times poll on 3-4 June. They were:
- to keep Ireland’s power and identity (24%)
- to safeguard Ireland’s neutrality (22%)
- don’t like being told what to do/ forced into voting yes (17%)
- bigger countries will have too much power (12%)
So let's have none of this EU elite spin that this result was not a vote about the treaty or the impact of the EU more generally.
The democratic 'No' campaign, hopelessly underfunded compared to the 'Yes' side, fought a spirited and commendable campaign against the odds.
They are to be congratulated and thanked by democrats across Europe.
By any democratic principles, the Lisbon treaty has been blown apart. However, that's predictably not how EU elites are responding. Their reaction can be summed up as 'carry on regardless'.
We'll be cataloguing the response of Europe's arrogant governing elite over the next few days, and laying bare exactly how little regard those driving the European Union have for people's views even when so democratically expressed.