Re: Irish Referendum Coming up ...
yes, they will have something to do with it
Well, the Contracting States (which overlap with the EU states) appear to have been failing dismally to influence the EPO, never mind anyone else. If the European Commission had any influence, it presumably would have used it to resolve this ongoing impediment to "European harmonisation" before now.
It would seem that the aim of the EPO to reach beyond the mere confines of the EU is actually the source of the problem. Had it just been an agency of the EU, none of this could have arisen.
I presume you'd prefer a model in which every country has a separate Patent Office and businesses have to file their patents in every single one?