A Progressive Democrat backbench TD has broken ranks and urged the Government to abandon plans to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution.

Mae Sexton says she believes the ratification process is clearly in difficulty and the treaty needs to be renegotiated.

Ms Sexton says she feels it would be perceived as a waste of money if Ireland was to proceed with a referendum on a constitution voted down by two founding members of the EU.

The Longford TD said it was obvious there were problems with the constitution and that the EU was leaving its citizens behind, in all its discussions and debates.

Luxembourg to vote on treaty

Her comments come as Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, says he will resign if Luxembourg rejects the constitution in a referendum next month.

Mr Juncker told reporters that his decision was ‘a question of basic decency’ towards the voters.

A recent opinion poll has showed a surge in the No vote in Luxembourg to 41%, up from 28% in October.

The tiny state, with an electorate of 200,000, is the next country to vote on the EU Constitution after it was rejected in France and the Netherlands.

The referendum will take place on 10 July, nine days after Luxembourg hands over the rotating EU presidency to Britain.

Opinion swings in Denmark

Separately in Denmark, a cluster of four opinion polls conducted after the Dutch vote have shown that, for the first time, local opinion has clearly swung against ratification of the treaty.

The Danes are due to vote on the constitution in September.

Yesterday, the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, held talks with the Luxembourg EU presidency ahead of the referendum.

Mr Schroeder urged EU member states to continue ratifying the constitution.

He will discuss the crisis prompted by its rejection in France and the Netherlands with the French President, Jacques Chirac, tomorrow.