Major survey shows deep confusion in UK opinion over Brexit

Extracts  from the BuzzFeed report

Many Remain voters now largely agree that Brexit should mean the UK taking full control over its borders, leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and paying only a small “divorce bill” to the EU, according to major new academic research.

A groundbreaking project by the London School of Economics and Oxford University surveying more than 3,000 people – which BuzzFeed News has seen exclusively ahead of its official publication – reveals that when the British public are asked in detail what they want from the negotiations, there is more support for harder Brexit options because Leavers and a significant number of Remainers back them.

Remainers are also more likely to concede that outcomes that they would prefer personally would mean that the referendum result was not being respected, the study found.

The results imply relatively low levels of support for the policies that would amount to a “soft” Brexit – single market membership, ongoing EU payments, free movement, and the ECJ: 67% of respondents would prefer “no deal” to soft Brexit, while 68% would opt for hard over soft Brexit.

Finding the public’s view on what Brexit should look like has proven a tricky task for pollsters and politicians, as many of the technical issues and tradeoffs are not well understood. As an example, one poll showed 88% of the public supporting free trade with the EU post-Brexit, while 69% wanted customs checks at the border – a directly contradictory position, meaning at least 57% of respondents had said they supported both open and closed borders.

The academics tackled this by forcing respondents to choose between different plausible Brexit scenarios, then analysing the huge dataset this produced to find Leave and Remain voters’ priorities for Brexit.

The Irish border

The future of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is one of the key early issues in the Brexit negotiation, and one that many fear could be one of the most fraught – with some warning it could even lead to a reescalation of the Troubles.

However, these fears have not broken through to most of the British public, who have very few strong views on the issue. Overall, Remain voters slightly prefer an open border, while Leave voters want both passport and customs checks.

 

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  • eamoncorbett

    It’s a case of , let’s get it over with so that we can concentrate on Trumps America and India and other far flung places to trade freely with . Don’t forget the Donald’s mantra when it comes to trade , it’s America First, but hey the special relationship will counteract that argument surely. Great times are coming surely, it’s just no ones sure when exactly.

  • Oriel27

    I worry dearly about the impact this border returning to Ireland again. I’m literally just back from a cycle on a lonely border road between Tyrone and monaghan. Brexit was very much in my mind. The very road was the last road to be re-opened again in October 2010 by Michelle guildernew. That very road the bridge was bombed for 30 years. I can remember on that road a double gruesome murder scene in the 70’s. It would be an awful pity if brexit resulted in that road being closed again. Because the UDR will have to come back to police the border and we all know about them.

  • Dan2

    yes, wouldn’t it be an awful pity if the IRA decided they needed to murder Irish people again to push their new opinion that the EU must make the laws for both parts of Ireland.

  • Salmondnet

    “Confusion” as in people know they can’t have everything and, when push comes to shove, prefer a “hard” (i.e. real) Brexit to any remotely feasible alternative. Not what the Remainder saboteurs want the hear, but there it is. Obfuscation will not change it.
    Of course Northern Ireland does not loom large in the thinking of the UK population. It represents about 2.5% of the UK total, almost half of that loyal to a foreign state, and, as the Nationalists constantly remind us, likely to leave the UK within a decade or two as a result of demographic change.
    As for a resumption of the troubles, I doubt there is any tolerance remaining in the UK for further expenditure of blood or treasure containing Irish terrorism, so the Brits out objective is likely to be achieved (the NI population loyal to the UK represents less than four years migration at current levels, so relocation for anyone who wants it shouldn’t be a problem). Viewed from the eastern side a (closed) sea border has much to recommend it

  • Korhomme

    Ah yes, the joys of chlorinated chicken and hormone saturated beef. I for one don’t want that.

  • Patrick Jones

    Yes much better to eat EU Chicken so infested with bacteria that the health advice is NOT to wash it lest you contaminate yourself and your kitchen. And if you do wash it you use chlorinated and fluoridated tap water. whoops

    Hormone saturated beef is at least safe unlike the poisoned eggs sold freely by the Dutch and covered up by the Belgians

  • Patrick Jones

    Does that qualify as republican? Or even nationalist?

  • Patrick Jones

    Why should it. The only traffic to be controlled is goods and that can be done at other points as it is elsewhere in the union

  • Korhomme

    Another survey indicated that Leavers would accept significant damage to the economy, and an increase in unemployment, as a price for Brexit. Surely, this is madness.

    Brexit has been sold on the basis that the evil EU, and the evil bureaucrats (aka civil servants) are responsible for the continuing economic problems in Britain. In reality, the deindustralisation of the north of England resulted from Thatcherite policies and the neo-liberal agenda. We now see a very rich south-east of England and an impoverished north; and much of the infrastructure spending is in the rich area.

    The Brexit vote was predominantly an English vote, and the most virulent Leavers were those in areas with minimal immigration. Scotland, London and N Ireland voted to remain; the English shires voted to Leave.

    The demos continue to be confused; they’d like the advantages of an open border here but with full controls; this is simply impossible.

    The DUP, it’s said, were Leavers because they expected that Remain would win the referendum; and the same is true of the present Foreign Secretary. In both these instances, people were putting political and personal advantage over the well-being of the the rest of us and the country.

  • Korhomme

    US chicken is chlorinated because of the very poor standards of hygiene in the chicken farms there. Campylobacter is an entirely different problem. I buy local eggs.

  • ulidian

    The highest ‘leave’ vote was in Boston, which has experienced a very large influx from Eastern Europe.

  • RallanToo

    Major survey shows deep confusion in UK opinion over Brexit

    Actually the LSE survey shows an impressive consensus (about 70%) on the need for a “hard” Brexit and what that entails. Furthermore the sample was 20,000 people not 3,000 people as reported here.

  • RallanToo

    Why should it? There’s not going to be the border of the past. If violence breaks out it’ll only be using Brexit as a pretext. There are people who yearn for ugliness and brutality.

  • lizmcneill

    Would 66% also want more expensive consumer goods?

  • Patrick Jones

    Published data shows the disease burden of US flocks identical to EU ones. Monibot recently had to apologise in the Gruinard as he totally misunderstood this data

    The health issue is a chicken marketing lie to justify trade barriers and 30% higher prices

    Good for you on local eggs but how do you know? Many are mislabelled and there have been huge scams in selling Polish battery eggs as organic free range Uk ones

  • Oriel27

    As it was before in the past there will be compliance issues. Expecting people everytime to stop and show there passport and open the boot and show what they bought when they go to their local shop – it’s enevitable there will be issues. The border has always been disputed The north has always been disputed it’s not or had been an agreed settlement. Especially now when the majority voted to remain. The majority don’t agree with a hard border or any border. Yes that catch phrase ‘no borders of the past ‘ is a meaningless phrase and is totally naive and wishful thinking. A border of any kind firstly demands compliance. But the people don’t want the border. How can you not see that? Today going to my local shop i passed the border 3 times. There is no way people will be compliant with something that wasn’t voted for here. Over 200 roads good luck with your checkpoints. I remember being held up for an hour one time in Middletown. and by God knowing the people there, there is no way people will be compliant again. Bring on a border poll and get rid of the damn border for ever.

  • Patrick Jones

    No and they will get many cheaper …for example foreign wine won’t have a tariff to protect French producers and many foreign cars will be up to 8% cheaper

  • Patrick Jones

    So you propose a religious program …..illegal under international law

  • Patrick Jones

    You ignore the point on the water

    You have fallen for EU farmers propaganda

  • Patrick Jones

    You seem desperate for a fight. Who do you think will give a dam about your shopping. The current duty free limit on goods is £390. Should cover the weekly shop even in the EU

  • RallanToo

    Well there are lots of things in life that we don’t want, and usually there’s people like you trying to make the worst of it. Fortunately you’re not in charge and the lightest touch border arrangements possible, focused on goods rather than people, will be implemented.

  • Oriel27

    No . I’m just determined to see an end to the border on Ireland. I was happy enough with the status quo of things pre 2016. Your brexit vote now has been nothing but divisive for Ireland. So yes once again I’m determined to see that border not
    return again.

  • Barbazenzero

    See This Huge New Study Reveals What The British Public Really Wants From Brexit, where at the end of the text you’ll find:

    CORRECTION
    August 11, 2017, at 6:17 p.m.
    The researchers collected six data points each from 3,293 people, resulting in a dataset of 19,758 choices. An earlier version of this story misstated that the researchers surveyed 20,000 people.

    Further, it doesn’t claim to be a survey but a “study”, and has not even been subject to peer review. There is also no evidence provided that the 3,293 individuals were selected by a BPC polling company, in order to have a representative sample of the electorate.

    All numbers published should be treated with caution until the full data tables are published and analysed by real pollsters.

  • Oriel27

    Not gonna work in practice and wishful thinking. Border must be at see. A border poll must be held and bring an end to the north. It’s a failed economic concept and must end.

  • RallanToo

    Lol, well at least I’ve been proved wrong clearly. I stand corrected.

  • Brian Walker

    Ok.. we wait for evaluation. But the LSE/Oxford team has a reputation to defend..

  • Zeno

    Just out of curiosity, what do you intend to do about it if it does happen?

  • Barbazenzero

    Indeed it does, which makes it a little surprising that the 3 researchers have released it prior to peer review.

  • RallanToo

    Not your decision to make.

    Besides, I’d expect benefits to straddling the border between two large trading zones with huge global reach. Bear in mind that the UK is lining up some pretty tasty trade deals with the English speaking world and Ireland will still be full EU. The Irish will literally be able to walk across a road to get from one zone to the other.

  • Karl

    The UK is lining up some pretty tasty trade deals with who exactly? In relation to what goods? Examples please

  • RallanToo

    How am I going to give details of deals that have only just begun discussion at government level, dumbass? However the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have all been very enthusiastic about getting deals done. Frankly I don’t give a crap what you think about that.

  • Korhomme

    OK, I can accept that.

    As for the local eggs, well Tesco says that they are. Perhaps I should go to a farmers’ market.

    As for the chicken, surely we produce enough in NI for us all? Yet I’ve seen packets of chicken breasts in Tescos that came from Vietnam? How does that make sense?

    I get the beef in a local butcher.

  • eamoncorbett

    What did May mean by taking control of our borders and if the NI border becomes a problem with EU nationals crossing into the U.K. (NI) how do you instigate checks on lonely country roads 300 miles across the divide . The problem won’t have much to do with shopping but it will have everything to do with immigration issues.

  • Oriel27

    Simply not comply with any border regulations imposed like everyone else. There will be no compliance.

  • Patrick Jones

    Who suggested stopping all movement. It’s about residence and employment and citizenship. The more that come as tourists visitors or shoppers the better

  • Patrick Jones

    It never left. It was just open. It will still be open except for immigrants. Commercial goods and services

  • Patrick Jones

    Yeah. Again a denial of practical and political realities

  • Patrick Jones

    But where does the butcher get it. I bought chicken breasts last week. They came from Germany. The month before it was holland

  • Korhomme

    Locally, he assures me. He’s been a butcher since he was a lad; he should be retired, but he still puts in a few hours each week, just to keep an eye on the ‘children’ who do most of the work. He’s 90.

  • NotNowJohnny

    What makes you think the IRA will start murdering people over this?

  • William Kinmont

    For all our infighting we live in the land of milk and honey . Few countries export the percentages of meat dairy and spuds that we do. Westerly Atlantic brings fresh air and water. What are we fighting about?

  • Damien Mullan

    This is entirely an internal UK argument that has zero traction with the EU27. Soft and Hard Brexit is the internal dilemma within the UK over how it attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable. The proponents of Soft Brexit are just as deluded as the Brexiters, in that they belief the EU can agree to the UK retaining Single Market and Customs Union access, on the same basis as today, while implementing the restrictions they believe gave rise to the Leave victory. This is just as improbable as the Brexiters belief that they will be able to replicate EU membership benefits with a Free Trade Agreement.

    Wherever people are on the political Brexit spectrum in the UK they are all largely holding to incompatible and delusional positions. These will all be blown apart as they EU sets out the terms of relations that are open to third countries seeking an FTA, which is precisely what the UK will be upon exit. It is impossible and fatal for the integrity of the EU itself to agree to anything that is outside the parameters of what is available to third countries. This outcome is as inevitable as it was predictable, but it is a reckoning that the UK must suffer, not because the EU is vindictive, but because that is the way of things.

  • Korhomme

    So why do we import chicken bits from Vietnam?

  • Korhomme

    And there will be £350 million a week for the NHS, won’t there?

  • Tochais Siorai

    As long as you keep the finger in the dyke.

    Damn!

  • Gavin Crowley

    “As an example, one poll showed 88% of the public supporting free trade with the EU post-Brexit, while 69% wanted customs checks at the border – a directly contradictory position”

    Perhaps they understand it pretty well. If ‘free trade’ means a free trade agreement then there will be customs checks at the border in some fashion. Even a customs union doesn’t automatically remove the need for customs.

    So there’s no contradiction.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Erm Gavin, you can agree free trade and customs free trade … it’s called membership of the Single Market.

    The Single Market/Common Market is technically a Free Trade Agreement.

  • William Kinmont

    Federalist thankfully IFA already taken so no risk there then

  • William Kinmont

    Must be EU trade deal seems odd. Can’t blame brexit wasn’t a highly processed product shipped out and cheaply laboured before being brought back like prawns? In the past I have had to export certfy containers feet and other bits we consider waste to that general area often high demand apparently perhaps the economics mean the demand for cheap cuts their leaves and excess of expensive bits for there economy. Demand here for cheap cuts of beef for mince and burgers can out strip that for expensive cuts depending on season.

  • Sin_a_bhfuil
  • William Kinmont

    Regardless of solution immigration will be policed at the Irish sea . Pleasant and green as this land is Injust don’t think it offers enough opertunities to attract illegal immigrants to stay here.

  • Sin_a_bhfuil

    If NI is not complying with EU regs (for food in particular), there will be a highly policed border between NI & ROI for food. The ROI has very high standards for food production which could be destroyed if NI is used by the (non-compliant) UK to access EU markets.

  • Michael Dowds

    no, read the linked article, it’s about border control. Read what the Great British public wishes to do with our border.

    The level of checks is already ludicrous. After recently moving back to NI (from GB), my wife was registering with the GP. She presented her (UK) passport, proof of address, her HSC number (plus her NHS no. from GB) and a letter from her employer (who do happens to be the HSC). All of this is apparently insufficient to verify entitlement to services.

    Imagine how invasive the State will become post Brexit.

    Never mind, it’s the promised land of milk and honey for Brexiteers. Global Britain etc. Etc. Etc.

  • Michael Dowds

    So you know nothing of the ‘trade deals’ being discussed but feel confident enough to state that they are … ‘tasty’. Curious.

    BTW, there are rules of conduct in this place, referring to other posters as a ‘dumbass’ is unacceptable.

    Brian Walker, please can you edit RallanToo’s ‘contribution’ or delete the entire post.

  • Burt Wilding

    Will be interesting to see how the researchers introduced the costs of the different brexit scenarios into this as people chose between them. It is my personal view that the costs will be substantial and most people either don’t agree that it’s so are in a sort of denial about the effects on them personally. It is my hunch that we true sentiment with full factoring in of the costs is considerably “softer” than the provisional results imply.

  • Korhomme

    I’ve heard that fish from Scotland are shipped off to China where they are gutted and filleted, refrozen than shipped back to the UK for sale. This may make economic sense — shipping costs in these mega container ships are negligible — but it defies common sense.

    In Switzerland, you can buy, in ascending price order, ‘foreign’ eggs, Swiss eggs, and locally produced eggs. There are still those who will pay more to support local industries.

    In general, I think NI should be self-sufficient in things like eggs, potatoes, chicken and beef; and perhaps lamb. Some imports are a ‘good thing’ — things we don’t or can’t make, such as Swiss cheese, Italian ham and pasta. (You can buy ‘Cathedral’ cheddar in Switzerland.)

    Much of this seems driven by the large supermarkets who ‘know’ what the consumer wants — and their idea of a consumer for food is invariably female. While much of their food is cheap, and after all many people in the UK are poor as a side-effect of neo-liberal economic theory, the supermarkets so seem to be very hard on farmers and producers.

  • Korhomme

    So, what’s the solution?

  • NotNowJohnny

    Does this 8% take account of the value of sterling? Is the cost of foreign cars post brexit not dependent on the details of the post Brexit trade agreements that the UK signs with the country of manufacture? If so, how can you tell how much cheaper they are going to be?

  • NotNowJohnny

    Do you have the link to the source?

  • Patrick Jones

    So high that we are advised not to wish Irish Chicken lest we contaminate our kitchens?

    But if that is forced on us all it will be forced by the EU not the UK and they and the Irish can pay for it. I hope however the the EU will behave rationally

  • Patrick Jones

    Yeah. Censor them if you can’t win an argument

  • William Kinmont

    I have been told that my grandmother’s groceries were soap sugar and flour.
    They were of course very lucky to live on a farm. Today supermarkets have considerable power In the UK without them the logistics of feeding the huge urban population would be impossible. Very little food is held in stock alot ofjust in time management goes on. Empty shelves very quickly cause a restless population the government is well aware of this.

  • Patrick Jones

    Price

    And why not support developing countries if they are safe

  • Patrick Jones

    Depends on any demands from EU. It may only be £100m

  • Patrick Jones

    At the moment the EU typically charges 8% on imported cars. With freedom we may do a trade deal and cut that. It’s our choice

  • Korhomme

    We were promised £350 million.

    Don’t try to wriggle out of a promise.

  • Michael Dowds

    Yes Patrick, I want the offensive language censored. If that’s not possible (I don’t know whether the moderator can do that), then the whole post has to go.

    Personal insults are not conducive to civilised discussion.

    You’ll also note that I wasn’t in an argument with RallanToo so I have no motivation to want to ‘win’.

  • Reader

    Korhomme: The demos continue to be confused;
    Damien Mullan: Wherever people are on the political Brexit spectrum in the UK they are all largely holding to incompatible and delusional positions.
    Korhomme: So, what’s the solution?
    Surely the two of you are converging on a solution – the British electorate must either be replaced or disenfranchised.

  • Reader

    Sin_a_bhfuil: If NI is not complying with EU regs (for food in particular), there will be a highly policed border between NI & ROI for food.
    1) Have you any reason to think that the British outside the EU will behave worse than the Dutch did inside?
    2) The consequence of your expectation is EU mandated customs posts on the 26 county side of the border, manned by Irish civil servants. I’m sure the British will be sympathetic and supportive to any security issues that are experienced at those customs posts.

  • Reader

    eamoncorbett: The problem won’t have much to do with shopping but it will have everything to do with immigration issues.
    The UK won’t care about EU nationals travelling into the UK. But if they want to work, claim benefits, use the NHS or the education system, they will need paperwork.

  • Korhomme

    Not quite. I’m no sort of Brexiter, I’m a Remainer.

    Thus I still get to vote.

  • Roger

    The people want to be in the United Kingdom.
    Ergo, they want the border.
    Border poll. Seriously.

  • eamoncorbett

    So the phrase “take control of our borders ” is meaningless . It will all be sorted when they arrive , criminals, ISIS , undesirables et al , everyone’s welcome as long as they don’t look for a job , pull the other one.

  • eamoncorbett

    No one suggested stopping all movement, Brexiteers want border controls , ask them, they want these restrictions at Britains borders , presumably to distinguish between tourists and those wishing to stay permanently even if the latter don’t seek to enter the system .
    When it comes to NI this could be more difficult as there is no passport control.

  • Conchúr

    Delusional.

  • Damien Mullan

    There is no solution. The British much suffer and take the hit. That means isolation and dislocation from the development of Europe. They can argue that they are leaving the EU but not Europe. But it is the most substantial and pivotal forum that guides the common objectives and policy of 28, soon to be 27, European Nations. The UK will join Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, in the non-EU gallery, spectating afar as the destiny of Europe unfurls.

  • Damien Mullan

    I’m not suggesting that at all. I’m saying that the UK must leave the EU posthaste and endure this self-inflicted schizophrenia in splendid isolation.

    Because what happens when the land of milk and honey does not materialize. What happens when when unstoppable forces meet immovable objects, when the contradictory and incompatible become vividly apparent, like when the WMD edifice for the justification for war slowly unraveled, like the peeling of an onion, and a once unassailable political master crashed comet like to earth.

    There will be a reckoning. And the UK’s political and social order will take the full and direct impact. It is a reckoning that must happen, a cleansing of sorts, a moment of catharsis. It’s not about persuading the UK to remain, it’s about getting the UK out, and doing so with the least amount of damage to existing member states, while retaining the integrity of EU membership without compromising to appease the exiting UK.

  • Korhomme

    Masochism at its best.

    What if the Brexit madness were to be reversed?

    Or, are you suggesting that a major political catharsis is necessary so that all can see the folly that has been achieved?

  • Damien Mullan

    I’m saying the poison that is uniquely in the British system, longstanding at a political level, and because of the plebiscitary nature of the referendum process itself, now apart of the popular democratic sphere, must run its course, no matter where that might lead.

    Not masochism but sadomasochism perhaps. But it is a British design not an EU27 design.

    The British have misconceived the nature of the EU to which their country was once bound, due either to ignorance or willful arrogance. This process will be proof enough to all and sundry, both within and without the EU, of the significance of membership and non-membership. There is more at stake than the perennial and unending psychodrama that passes for the European debate in the UK, there is the unity and progress of a continent wide endeavour at stake, and the inter state relations of 27 countries and the 100’s of millions of their European citizens, that also lies in the balance. In the final analysis the UK drama is peripheral.

  • Korhomme

    I fear you may well be right; nothing less than a phoenix arising from the ashes will be sufficient.

    This could include wholescale demolition of the Tories in whose ranks there are too many utterly bone-headed types; alas, neither Labour nor the LibDems are much use these days.

    In the meantime, there is an article in today’s FT saying that the Remainers should fight back to stop Brexit and take advantage of the PM’s very weak position. The most recommended comment btl has much the same view as you:

    https://www.ft.com/content/aa79df04-7dd2-11e7-ab01-a13271d1ee9c

    Otherwise, we should very carefully consider whether referendums on such matters are appropriate; but if we must have them, let them be qualified by, for example, a ‘supermajority’ and/or a majority of all of the electorate. And let us have a full and clear exposition of all the facts.

  • Reader

    eamoncorbett: pull the other one.
    ISIS can turn up if they are EU citizens, just like now. If they aren’t EU citizens, they won’t get into the CTA, just like now. And if you let criminals and undesirables into Ireland, then they can get into the UK. Just like now.
    So I agree that “take control of our borders” is a slogan, which represents an economic change, not a physical change. For most people, that’s all they ever wanted, there was never going to be a wall.
    It’s telling that I more often see that phrase in the writings of remainers rather than brexiters these days.

  • scepticacademic

    But the Single Market is much more than a FTA. It is also a customs union, which requires a common approach to external tariffs and trade agreements. Hence the Brexit argument about ‘freeing’ the UK to negotiate it’s own trade agreements. And the Single Market has gone even further than a customs union or FTA, of course, in areas such as harmonisation of product standards, competition law, restrictions on state aid to industry, etc.

  • scepticacademic

    The sad reality is that the vast majority of the electorate still don’t understand most of the issues at stake. Issue-by-issue opinion poll questions are a meaningless simplification of the complex reality of extricating the UK from the EU on the most favourable/least detrimental terms, which will necessarily involve trade-offs.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Harmonisation of product standards is standard of a customs union too.
    It’s the uncontrolled disharmony in product standards that will cause problems within Ireland despite the fact so many agriculture and fisheries goods are already naturally harmonic coming from the same soil and same water.

    Also Competition law and State Aid rules are typical of Free Trade Agreements.

    How can you have free trade if states give businesses unfair advantages over a foreign competitor?

    We have these state aid rules and competition rules in Europe because the EU is run by right wing neoliberal nations, if they had more left wing nations like Greec or more protectionist ones like Brexit Britain the harmony would obviously be altered.

  • Pang

    In other news, 88% voted to have their cake & 59% voted to eat it. Getting the average brit to understand basic trade terminology is clearly as hard as getting the average paddy to actually read a European Union treaty for a referendum. This modern citizenship thing is hard work.

  • Damien Mullan

    Don’t get me started on referendums, especially when concerning complex and interlocking international treaties. The Irish Supreme Court has a storied and prominent place in the referendum mania that is now a feature of the popular debate on the EU and it’s bogus characterization of being undemocratic.

    That 1987 Supreme Court decision in ‘Crotty v. An Taoiseach’, viewed with hindsight, was a serious blow to the EU and has fueled false perceptions of it continent wide ever since.

    “Crotty v. An Taoiseach was a landmark decision of the Irish Supreme Court which found that Ireland could not ratify the Single European Act unless the Irish Constitution was first changed to permit its ratification. The case taken by Raymond Crotty directly led to the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland (which authorised the ratification of the Single Act) and established that significant changes to European Union treaties required an amendment to the Irish constitution before they could be ratified by Ireland. As a consequence, the Republic of Ireland, uniquely in the EU, requires a plebiscite for every new, or substantive change to a, European Union Treaty.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crotty_v._An_Taoiseach