By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Has Europe’s terminal crisis begun with a triple no vote?

The attempt to override the triple “No” votes of the French, Dutch, and Irish peoples has brought the EU to a systemic crisis of legitimacy. A line too many has been crossed. Any sentient citizen can see that the process has become unhinged.

Well might Mr Sarkozy rail at the Irish. “Bloody fools. They’ve been stuffing their faces at Europe’s expense for years and now they dump us in the s***,” he yelled.

Mr Sarkozy still thinks that Ireland can be made to vote again in a few months. Who is the bloody fool?

Yes, the Irish voted twice on Nice. That was another world. The Nice “No” came below radar, on a tiny turnout, after scant debate.

This time the contest has been electric. The Irish were warned day after day that rejecting Lisbon would be catastrophic. They rejected it any way, by national instinct, unwilling to sign a blank political cheque.

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