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EU Reform: Treaties

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the criteria are for triggering the holding of a referendum on proposals for change to the treaty base of the EU; and if he will make a statement. (149756)

The treaty establishing a constitution for Europe, on which the Government proposed a referendum, is now defunct. The mandate for a Reform treaty agreed by the European Council states clearly:

“The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing Treaties and replacing them by a single text called “Constitution”, is abandoned”.

The UK's only ever national referendum was on European Economic Community membership in 1975. The Reform treaty will be an amending treaty in the tradition of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice— none of which were subject to a referendum in this country.