The European political class are really disgracing themselves tonight.
A small selection:
Sarkozy and Merkel: “The ratification procedure is already complete in 18 countries. We hope therefore that the other member states will persevere with the ratification process.”
"Naturally we are disappointed, it is a hard blow," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement. "Nevertheless I am convinced that we need this treaty. Therefore we are sticking with our goal for it to come into force. The ratification process must continue." (Reuters)
Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Franco Frattini said: “This is a serious blow to European construction” but “the path of European integration must not however be stopped.”
The President of the Commission, Jose Barroso said in reaction to the no vote: “The Treaty is not dead. The Treaty is alive, and we will try to work to find a solution.”
Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme: “In no case should the Union be stopped in its tracks. We need to examine the existing possibilities to assure in any case the entry into force of the Treaty and to associate Ireland with it.”
Hugo Brady, Centre for European Reform “The proeuropean consensus of yesteryear within the Irish media has been sapped from the British right-wing newspapers, in particular the tabloids which stirred up national anxieties”
Federalist MEP Andrew Duff: It was a “mad idea” to hold a referendum because is opened up the floodgates of “populism, nationalism and xenophobia”
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said : “Ireland will certainly find a way of ratifying this treaty”. (Shame on you Donald!)
Federalist MEP Richard Corbett says: "It is inconceivable that all of the others will simply say "too bad - one country has said ‘No’ to the package as it stands, so let's forget reform and stick with the current system for evermore... Nor should we accept the bleating from Eurosceptics that there is somehow something undemocratic about a new referendum."
More as they come in...