The latest draft of the EU fiscal treaty makes it "more likely" that a referendum can be avoided in Ireland, according to a leading legal expert.

The draft was published online earlier this evening by the Daily Telegraph.

Dr Gavin Barrett of the UCD School of Law has said that the new draft seemed to suggest that the "automatic requirement" for a referendum was now gone and that it was more likely that it could be avoided.

Earlier drafts had said that a new "balanced budget" rule would have to be enshrined constitutionally. Dr Barrett said this was no longer the case.

He said the draft strengthens a bailout clause which states that countries cannot receive bailout monies unless they ratify the treaty.