Ireland will be expected to hold another referendum on the Lisbon Treaty by the end of next year under the terms of an EU summit deal due to be agreed in Brussels.

Draft summit conclusions prepared before the summit begins this afternoon set out the likely way round last June's "no" vote - a re-run of the poll on the basis of new guarantees to convince voters that the Treaty does not undermine policies on abortion, neutrality and tax.

The draft conclusions make clear that EU leaders want the Treaty, which must be ratified by all 27 EU countries, to come into force by January 1 2010.

If that target is approved at the summit, the implication is that Ireland will have to re-stage the referendum.

To give a second poll a chance of swinging a "yes" vote, the Irish Government requires legally-binding additions to answer fears that the Treaty would pave the way for EU interference in the Irish ban on abortion, in Ireland's cherished neutrality, and in tax laws.

The Irish Government will also be demanding assurances that Ireland will retain an EU Commissioner in Brussels.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the number of EU commissioners would be reduced to cut bureaucracy and unnecessary jobs at the top of the EU civil service.

That would mean the current arrangement of one commissioner from each member state would be replaced by a rotating system involving fewer commissioners.

Ireland, and other smaller member states, fear this would leave them without a voice for at least part of the time in Commission policy discussions.

Supporters of a leaner Commission say that, as EU commissioners are not intended to represent their nation of origin - they all swear an oath that they will not be partisan - the reduced size of the team does not matter.

But, thanks to the Irish "no" vote, the Treaty is likely to be adjusted to restore the full team - one commissioner per country, however many member states eventually join.

One EU official said: "The fact is, there aren't enough proper top commissioner jobs to make one per country necessary.

"There are already some makeweight posts in the current 27 portfolios and we will simply have more unless we agree to cut the size of the team.

"It's ironic that countries which complain about too much EU bureaucracy are playing a national card to keep a so-called national commissioner around the table in future. But if that's what it takes, that's what we'll do."

Later today Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen will set out what measures he thinks will be necessary for the Dublin Government to take before launching another referendum calculated to reverse the "no" vote.

A second referendum before next June - when European Parliament elections are held - has been all but ruled out, with the most likely date seen as October.

But by then anti-referendum campaigners will have reinforced their efforts to scupper the new poll.

Declan Ganley, leader of the Irish No campaign, announced today that he will not only continue battling in Ireland but will also field candidates in the UK Euro-election campaign under the banner of Libertas as a pan-European party.

Libertas has just opened a Brussels office as its European headquarters, and a statement said: "Libertas is a new European political movement dedicated to campaigning for greater democracy, accountability and transparency within the EU.

"Libertas will also develop innovative and enterprising policies to benefit Europe and foster a more positive relationship between the EU institutions and citizens for whom they legislate."

Their message to EU leaders hoping to kick-start the Lisbon Treaty later today is that the fight to have the document declared dead and buried will continue in earnest.