This morning I had breakfast with Neil O’Brien who runs a pressure group and think-tank called Open Europe – dedicated to opposing the onward march of European integration. Neil seemed rather depressed – and this was not just because he had spent the night ministering to the homeless on the banks of the Thames (although he had).
“The Irish have voted Yes”, he informed me, “Paddy Power are paying out.” What this apparently meant was that the last barrier to the ratification of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty had fallen. The Irish had approved the treaty in a referendum. The bookmakers, Paddy Power, were so sure of the result that they were paying out to people who had bet on a Yes vote.