Ireland’s no vote on the EU treaty may prove to be a “narrow escape” for Europe, leading Birmingham Labour eurosceptic Gisela Stuart has said.
She was speaking in a Commons debate just hours before the treaty was set to through its final stages of UK ratification in the House of Lords.
For years the EU had operated on “implied consent”, Ms Stuart said, and when it asked for explicit consent it didn’t get it.
The Irish result also had to be given the same standing as previous votes in other countries on the original European constitution, she added.
Edgbaston MP Ms Stewart said: “If we do respect the Irish decision then I do think we have to say it is back to the drawing board.
“That was the essence of the Dutch no and the French no. The Irish no is the same as those two noes.”
Meanwhile Foreign Secretary David Miliband said a failure of Parliament to ratify the Lisbon Treaty would leave the UK in “limbo” and and would be a “crazy” way to seek influence in Europe.
He conceded that the treaty could not be brought into force without the agreement of all 27 members of the EU, but said there was “no question of bulldozing the Irish”.
He said: “The British view is for Parliament to decide. We are due to complete Parliamentary scrutiny in another place today.
“This is not just a matter of democratic principle - if we halt ratification the UK will be leaving itself in limbo, unable to state clearly its own position.”
He added: “To choose limbo would be a crazy way to seek influence in the EU.”
Mr Miliband also said that uncertainty over the future of the Lisbon treaty - which seeks reform of European institutions in the light of expansion - should not stop the EU from tackling major global issues.
“The way for the European Union to make itself relevant is not through further institutional reform, it’s through getting on with addressing the main agenda,” he said.
Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said there was “no democratic mandate” to go ahead with ratification of the treaty and urged the Government against doing so.
Mr Hague said: “The crisis the EU faces this week is of its own making.”
It was a “totally unnecessary crisis,” as the enlarged EU was currently operating “perfectly well”.
The people of Ireland had reacted against the “one way ratchet” of the EU taking powers from member states.
Critics accused the Irish of voting no because they did not understand the treaty. “If they didn’t whose fault is that?” he demanded.
The document had been made deliberately “incomprehensible” after the previous constitution had been rejected in earlier referendums.
Mr Hague said ministers had promised there would be no “bullying” of Ireland into changing its mind.
“But completion of the ratification process is part of the bullying and bulldozing process and it is intended to be so.”
Accusing ministers of an “abuse of voters’ trust,” in not holding a British referendum, he said the process of European integration had gone far enough.
Europe dominated exchanges at Prime Minister’s question time earlier, with Conservative leader David Cameron calling on Gordon Brown to accept that the treaty was “dead” in light of the Irish no vote.
And Tory Peter Bone (Wellingborough) continued on the same lines, saying that Europe minister Jim Murphy had made it clear that if the UK rejected the treaty, it would be dead.
“Why is it when the Irish reject it, it is not dead,” Mr Bone asked.
Mr Miliband replied: “We are in agreement, that unless all 27 countries pass this treaty then the treaty will not come in to force. It’s a simple as that.”
Liberal Democrat spokesman Ed Davey said the EU had to “respect” the Irish referendum result.
He said: “Clearly for those of us who support the treaty it’s a setback.”
But, he added: “We have to respect the Irish. The EU must not bully the Irish.
“We cannot push them to a solution that we want but they don’t want.”
The future of the process “lies in the hands of the Irish government” and he urged the Government to put pressure on Dublin to reach a quick decision.
“Without actually saying what the decision should be, I think it is a legitimate request for another member state to say ‘you haven’t got years and years on this’ because they are part of a European Union that’s got to work out how it goes forward.”
Mr Davey said he thought fears about migration could be behind the referendums verdicts on the defunct constitution and the Lisbon Treaty.
“It is causing tensions and we have to recognise that and the EU and its member states have to recognise that,” he said.