Irish ayes smile on Europe as Farage cries “fix”

Nigel Farage has described the Irish referendum result - in which twice as many people voted ‘yes’ to the Lisbon Treaty as ‘no’ - as a “fix”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has claimed the referndum campaign in Ireland was “a fix” following the 2:1 vote in favour of ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking on the BBC News Channel he said:

“The Irish have been bullied into voting yes. This is a fix. They’ve had a wall of money thrown at them, and the broadcasting rules have been changed, we’ve not had equal coverage, the State broadcaster changed its rules.

“I have to say while I’m disappointed by the result, I think the whole thing has been an absolute travesty of democracy. The way this thing has been conducted is more akin to Zimbabwe or Afghanistan. This has not been a free and fair referendum.”

Mr Farage’s remarks are in sharp contrast to those of the leader of the ‘no’ campaign Declan Ganley, who praised the ‘yes’ campaign for a “masterful campaign”, conceding the result was an “overwhelming endorsement” of the Treaty.

The result will concern Tory leader David Cameron on the eve of his party conference, with a poll on ConservativeHome this morning showing 84 per cent of members want a referendum on the Treaty. Mr Cameron has repeatedly refused to say what his policy would be should the Treaty be ratified in all 27 member states.

In an email today, before the Irish result was announced, he wrote:

Referndum dilemma: David Cameron has refused to commit to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty“I want to make one thing clear: there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the Conference. There will be no change in Conservative policy as long as the Lisbon Treaty is still not in force. The Treaty has still not been ratified by the Czechs and the Poles. The Czech Prime Minister has said that the constitutional challenge before the Czech Constitutional Court could take 3-6 months to resolve.

“I have said repeatedly that I want us to have a referendum. If the Treaty is not ratified in all Member States and not in force when the election is held, and if we are elected, then we will hold a referendum on it, we will name the date of the referendum in the election campaign, we will lead the campaign for a ‘No’ vote.

“If the Treaty is ratified and in force in all Member States, we have repeatedly said we would not let matters rest there. But we have one policy at a time, and we will set out how we would proceed in those circumstances if, and only if, they happen.”

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