By Jennifer Russell
On the 13th December 2007, EU members signed the Treaty of Lisbon. Now almost two years later it is looking increasingly likely that this EU Treaty will be in place for Christmas. The UK government ratified the Treaty in Parliament on the 16th July 2008. This was done without a referendum, and for some MPs this is seen as unfair in a democratic society.
Conservative MP William Cash stated today “We need a full referendum on Lisbon as we were promised and as we voted in the House of Commons. No ifs or buts. This is about the Government of the United Kingdom operating in line with the democratic wishes of the electorate.”
The EU Lisbon Treaty has four main aims; to create a more democratic and transparent Europe, a more efficient Europe, a Europe of rights and values, freedom, solidarity and security and lastly to make Europe an actor in the global stage. It amends the current EU and EC treaties without replacing them, and allows a legal framework for the whole of Europe.
Cash also commented that “As David Cameron and William Hague have repeatedly indicated, the EU is over-centralised and undemocratic and we need it to be radically reformed into a democratic association of member states. This can only be done with Britain taking a firm lead over this gerrymandered treaty, returning democratic power to the people.”
Under EU Law all 27 Member States must agree to the Treaty before it can be put in place. With the most recent vote just in from the Czech Republic, the UK has little time to get the referendum that is wanted by opposition MPs.