A new opinion poll, conducted by the US bankers Citigroup, found that support for the Nice Treaty in Ireland has grown to 44 per cent from 29 per cent last month.
The Citigroup poll found that 22 per cent of respondents would oppose the treaty while 27 per cent were undecided.
However, exactly the same level of support, 44 per cent, was registered in the days before the first referendum, and then 54 per cent of the Irish voters rejected it.
According to the Irish Times, the EU intends to ask the Irish Parliament to issue a declaration backing enlargement if Irish voters reject the Nice Treaty for the second time. That would provide the EU with an interpretation that the Irish vote “is not a rejection of enlargement”, and would neutralise complaints that by admitting up to 10 new members, the EU would be ignoring the democratically expressed will of the Irish people, according to the newspaper.
However, theIrish Foreign Minister, Brian Cowen,rejected this idea. “Any speculation that a parliamentary declaration in some way can overturn the popular will of the people of this republic is to show, I’m afraid, a lack of knowledge of the constitutional position,” he said.