The road to a referendum: What happens next?
Now that the starting gun has been triggered on a referendum of the Eighth Amendment what exactly happens next?
A referendum bill will need to be passed:
Health Minister Simon Harris will publish the Referendum Bill, which allows the referendum to be held. It will also clarify the question that is being put to people. Minister Harris said on Monday the Government will need the cooperation of the Opposition parties to hold the vote in May as planned.
A general scheme of what the law will look like will be published:
At Cabinet Minister Harris was given the green light to draft a Bill that will be introduced in the Oireachtas if the referendum is passed. The Taoiseach has said this will be in line with the recommendations of the all party committee on the Eight Amendment. The Bill will come before Cabinet but it cannot be debated in the Dáil chamber until the referendum is approved.
The issue will be debated in the Dáil chamber:
The month of March will be dominated by the referendum bill with the referendum hopefully taking place in the month of May. It is expected the debate may require a late-night or Friday sittings in order to keep to the time-line of holding a referendum in early summer.
The country will go to the polls:
No definite date has been set but Minister Harris told the Cabinet should work towards May 25.