Govt to seek court advice over EU changes - report


Senior Government figures have discussed the possibility of the President Michael D Higgins asking the Supreme Court to rule on whether plans for fiscal union across the EU will need a referendum, according to reports today.

The Sunday Business Post reported that some ministers have expressed a desire to see Mr Higgins refer the matter to the court first in order to eliminate the risk of the Government being seen to be dragged into a vote.

In order for this to happen, the Government would have to first pass legislation to enact the 'fiscal compact' agreement designed to tighten deficit rules across the euro zone and send the bill to the President for signature.

He could then exercise his right to refer new legislation to the Supreme Court for a judgement on its constitutionality.

A Government spokesman refused to be drawn on the reports this morning and said he would not second guess what either the Cabinet or President Higgins would do.

"The position is very clear. If there is a requirement for a referendum, we'll have one. If there is no requirement, we won't. Any speculation of what the president will do is merely that," he said.