| 8.9°C Dublin

Vote on Europe is likely in early summer, says Burton

THE crucial referendum on the new eurozone fiscal treaty is now likely to be held in early summer.

Two Government ministers have confirmed that the Cabinet is leaning towards a date between the end of May and the end of June.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said the sitting of the Leaving Certificate and the much-anticipated European Championships will be factors in setting a date.

It is the first time a Government minister has indicated when the vote will be held.


The Government could in theory wait until October or November to hold the referendum, however Coalition sources have indicated that a shorter campaign is preferred.

Speaking in New York as part of her St Patrick's Day duties, Ms Burton revealed that early summer date is the likely option.

She said two "windows" were on the table -- a date in late May or early June, or sometime in late June or early July.

The plans for an early summer referendum were reinforced by Simon Coveney.

The Agriculture Minister said he wanted the Government to move ahead quickly.

"We should have a proper debate now and hopefully vote sometime between the end of May and the end of June," he said.