It has happened. After France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitutional Treaty, Ireland's "No" vote is the second and probably decisive blow against a united and strong Europe. June 12, 2008, will have to be remembered as the day that made European history. No matter what desperate rescue efforts will be undertaken, they cannot hide the fact that the European Union has left the world stage as a serious foreign policy player for at least 10 years (if not for much longer).I don't think anyone ever even imagined France and/or the Netherlands being "isolated within the EU". The votes of the French & Dutch don't matter nor do the rules of the EU nor the pleasant language about Ireland being a partner in the European project.
There is still a minuscule chance to avert the debacle if Ireland with its "No" vote remains isolated within the EU.
Again, if we do eventually vote again and approve Lisbon at least there can be no more spin, no more BS, no more naivete, no more denying what the EU is and what our role in the Union is.