Lisbon Difficulty for UK Euroskeptics

The successful ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland following a 67% vote in favour of the Treaty in Friday’s referendum leaves UK Euroskeptics seeking new ways to slow EU integration. The challenge will first be levelled at David Cameron and his Conservative Party which holds its annual conference this week in Manchester. Cameron’s solution will be to demand the devolution of certain social and employment policies to the Member States (or at least to the UK) and more national control over Justice and Home Affairs. News reports today suggest that a Conservative Government would be willing to hold up the accession of Croatia and Iceland (expected in the next two years) unless their demands are met.

Meanwhile, pressure will increase on the Polish and (in particular) the Czech President Vaclav Klaus to conclude their countries’ ratification as soon as possible. Whereas the Polish President is likely to conclude his country’s ratification in the coming days, the Czech President continues to speak out again ratification. Furthermore, a constitutional challenge to the Treaty before the Czech Constitutional Court will have to be resolved before Czech ratification can be concluded. Notwithstanding these delays, hopes are high that the Treaty can enter into force in January 2010.


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