» Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Asked how hopeful the Prime Minister was on getting over the impasse on the Lisbon Treaty, the PMS replied that clearly a lot had been said about this in recent days by the Foreign Secretary and by the Prime Minister himself on Monday. The legal position was very clear that the Treaty could only be enacted if all 27 member states ratified. It was a good treaty for Britain, so it was right that we should continue with our ratification process. Clearly as the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary had been saying it was for Ireland to decide on the way forward for them, but there would be the opportunity for the Irish Government to update their European colleagues on this matter at the European Council starting tomorrow.

Asked if the Prime Minister was still determined that ratification should go ahead here whatever happens elsewhere, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister was very clear that we would continue with our ratification process here.

Asked why there was a different position on continued ratification compared to the "no vote" on the Constitution by the French and the Dutch, where the Government made very clear that ratification should not proceed, the PMS replied that the position was clear as the Foreign Secretary had said that it was really for each member state to manage its ratification process. So we would continue with our process, but the Treaty would only be enacted once all 27 member states had ratified.

Put that the Prime Minister was Chancellor at the time and fully supported that decision, and clearly a different view was being taken this time, the PMS replied that the circumstances now were such that we had completed 95% of the legislation in order to bring the Lisbon Treaty into legal force in the UK. There was one final step that we needed to go through which was the third reading in the House of Lords, which would happen today, and it was right that we should complete that process.

Asked if the Government still believed that the Lisbon Treaty was a "good deal", the PMS replied that the Government was clear that the Lisbon Treaty was a good treaty for Britain.

Put that it was therefore obvious that the Government would wish to save the Treaty if it could, the PMS replied that it was a matter for each member state to mange its own ratification process, as we had made clear, and as David Miliband had made clear in his own words, there would not be a bamboozling or bulldozing of the Irish, they had to manage their own process. We thought that this was a good treaty for Britain, that was why we would continue with the ratification process, but the Treaty could only come into effect once all 27 member states had ratified it.

Asked if all 27 states ratified the Treaty, then would that be a "good outcome", the PMS replied that obviously we wanted to find a way forward, but this was a matter for the Irish to decide how they managed their own ratification process.

Asked that given the fact that one of the options was extra protocol assurances which might then be ratified, would there not be some sense in the Government backing the Howell Amendment until October, the PMS replied that we were going to continue, we had completed 95% of the parliamentary process, so it was right that we went through the final stage today, and that was what we were going to do.

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned that Bill Cash was seeking a judicial review of ratification in the High Court, the PMS replied that this was a matter for Bill Cash.

Asked when the Government anticipated royal assent, the PMS replied that royal assent would happen as soon as possible after the third reading in the House of Lords today.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. Another obvious question: why has the government not produced a simple Plain English paraphrase of the Treaty that lists its main points which could then have been debated. I can’t believe that such a simple thing has not been done. I’m sure I could do it. and if it is so complicated that it can only be interpreted by lawyers than such a document should never have been produced.

    Comment by Keith Richardson — 18 Jun 2008 on 9:41 pm | Link
  2. The situation in Zimbabwe proves the absolute hypocrisy of the British Broadcasting Corporation.Compare their coverage of Zimbabwe with their coverage of the Palestinians/Jewish situation.The BBC is well aware that whatever Mugabe does will never equal the visciousness with which the Palestinians are treated by Israeli Jews.There has never been a programme on the BBC which was in any way sympathetic to the Palestinians.The BBC have chosen to let the Israeli Jews continue with their Apartheid system while giving Mugabe their special attention.

    Comment by richard green — 23 Jun 2008 on 8:49 am | Link

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