World News

Poland to ratify EU treaty even with Irish "no"

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski will sign the European Union reform treaty, the last step to full ratification, even if Irish voters reject it in Thursday’s referendum, his office said.

The treaty, which aims to streamline decision-making in the bloc, must be ratified by all 27 member states and only Ireland is holding a referendum, whose outcome is uncertain.

“The president has already said the issue of ratification is a done deal,” Mariusz Handzlik, head of the foreign affairs department in the president’s office, told Reuters.

“Even an Irish ‘no’ would not change the president’s view.”

In April, both chambers of Poland’s parliament voted to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, which would replace the more ambitious EU constitution rejected by French and the Dutch voters in 2005. Just over half of member states have already ratified it.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, edited by Richard Meares