By Simon Miller

The Irish government could set a date for its referendum on the EU Pact on Tuesday (27.03.2012).

The attourney general ruled that the treaty - with a strengthening of the stability pact and a commitment to econmic reform - directly impacted on the Irish Consitution, a ruling that necessitated the vote.

However, business leaders are concerned that a date had not yet been set which could lead to damage to business confidence and create further uncertainty over Ireland's relationship with Europe.

Business group Ibec has called for a May or June referendum this year and last month said that three quarters of chief executives said ratification was important to the future prosperity of their business.

The Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has so far declined to specify his preference for a date but told the Irish Times: "The Government will decide on Tuesday on a date, I expect, and that will be announced by Government immediately after the meeting."

Minister for social protection Joan Burton has suggested that there are “two windows” for the referendum – late May/early June; or, secondly, late June/early July, according to the paper.

Minister for agriculture Simon Coveney has also expressed a desire for the referendum to take place before the Dáil breaks for its summer recess in July.

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