The Irish Times reported yesterday that Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin has confirmed that the Irish government is not planning a Danish style opt-out from European Security and Defence Policy (ESPD), saying it was "never considered".
You will recall that at December's EU summit, 'political commitments' were offered to Ireland in exchange for holding a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and included 'guarantees' on military neutrality, among other things. These vague commitments were never elaborated on and now we come to the real nitty-gritty as to what these will actually mean.
Irish neutrality expert Dr. Karen Devine wrote a series of articles explaining the impact of Lisbon on neutrality, and arguing that "opt-out protocols are the only way to avoid" the Treaty's mutual defence obligations.
It will be interesting to see what exactly the Irish will be offered on this issue as they are told to vote again on the Lisbon Treaty.