EU formulates deal on stalled reform treaty

European Union leaders on Friday struck a deal they hope will persuade Irish voters to accept the 27-nation bloc's stalled reform treaty in a second vote on the issue. The treaty, intended to make the EU leaner and more manageable, needs approval of all member nations. Irish voters, wary of seeing their sovereignty eroded, rejected it in a referendum in 2008. All other EU states have approved it. Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen said he was confident the deal he reached with the other EU leaders will secure Irish sovereignty in tax policy, neutrality, abortion laws and workers' rights paving the way for a second Irish referendum.