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Treaty of Lisbon

Volume 495: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what legal advice he (a) sought and (b) received on the implications for the validity of existing ratifications of the text of the Lisbon Treaty of the changes made to that treaty by the arrangements entered into by the European Council on 18 and 19 June; and if he will make a statement. (282594)

[holding answer 26 June 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to Parliament on 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 662 that:

“When the Council met in December, we agreed that we would seek to provide the legal assurances that Ireland needed to move forward on the Lisbon treaty—that is, on taxation, defence, the right to life, education and the family. But we were equally clear in doing so that there could be no change or amendment to the treaty, only clarification of what it will and will not do. That is exactly the purpose of the guarantees that the Council has agreed for Ireland.”

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Prime Minister's Statement of 23 June 2009, Official Report, columns 661-77, on the European Council, if he will withdraw the UK's instrument of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. (282595)

[holding answer 26 June 2009]: As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to Parliament on 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 662, the guarantees for Ireland agreed at the June European Council make

“no change or amendment to the treaty, only clarification of what it will and will not do.”

Parliament has decided on the Lisbon treaty. The treaty was debated in detail in Parliament over 25 days; both Houses voted strongly in favour at every stage. The EU (Amendment) Bill which implements the Lisbon treaty in UK law received Royal Assent on 19 June 2008, and the Government ratified the treaty on 16 July 2008.