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Constitutional Treaty

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the changes between the EU constitutional treaty and the proposed EU reform treaty are. (156135)

The constitutional treaty is now defunct. The Inter-Governmental Conference Mandate agreed by the June European Council states that

“The constitutional concept has been abandoned.”

While all member states have moved away from the constitution, the UK has a specific treaty deal which means we have moved further than anyone else from the constitution.

15. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in negotiations in the intergovernmental conference on the proposed EU reform treaty. (156139)

The legal group producing the draft treaty finished their work on 3 October.

We believe that the UK red lines will be achieved and we are confident that we can persuade our European partners that this is the right deal for the UK and EU.

19. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Government policy is on the conduct of a national referendum on the proposed treaty changing the constitutional arrangements of the European Union; and if he will make a statement. (156144)

The UK has only ever held one national referendum, which was in 1975. We will seek parliamentary ratification of this Reform Treaty. In doing so we shall adopt a similar approach to that adopted by the Governments of Tony Blair, Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher.