Voters prepared to shock their leaders on Europe

Ireland: The Republic has held several referendums on EU membership in recent years, most recently in May on the fiscal treaty, a German-led plan for stricter budget rules. It produced a resounding 60 per cent in favour, despite widespread concerns about the impact of austerity measures after the country was forced to implement an €85 billion EU/IMF bail-out. The Irish had previously rejected the Treaty of Lisbon on greater EU integration in 2008, although this was overturned the following year.

Croatia: Croats held a straight referendum on membership of the EU in January, after its Parliament took a preliminary decision to join up last December. It was the first referendum held in Croatia since independence 1991 and saw two-thirds of Croats back a “Yes” vote.

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France: The proposed EU constitution, which would have replaced all other EU treaties with a single text and expanded European influence over domestic policy-making, effectively crumbled when it was rejected by 55 per cent of voters in the French referendum of 2005. It came amid concern over the impact on French sovereignty and the proposed economic model.

SWEDEN: Swedes rejected the prospect of joining the euro in a non-binding referendum in 2003, with 56 per cent against the idea. Sweden does not have an opt-out on joining the euro, unlike Denmark and the UK, but has refused to join since the referendum was held. This has prompted the SNP to cite this example when arguing an independent Scotland could join the EU without having to sign up to the euro.

SCOTT MACNAB