Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

We should not be acting as if the Lisbon treaty is already in force.

Delivered in Plenary - 13th January 2009

It is premature to be talking about what will happen once the Lisbon treaty comes into effect. The treaty remains in limbo and is still subject to a possible second ‘no’ vote by Irish citizens in another referendum later this year.

While this remains the case, we should not be acting as if the Lisbon treaty is already in force. Doing so lays us wide open to accusations of arrogance and contempt for the democratic process, which must still be concluded one way or another.

Furthermore, I am not in favour of EU funds being spent on promoting the Lisbon treaty through civil dialogue or any other means. We have free media and vigorous democracies in the Member States and are quite capable of conducting this debate on our own terms without the Commission trying to influence matters. In fact, in my country, the UK, the Commission’s attempts to promote further EU integration tends to be counterproductive.

I, like other British Conservatives, want to see the European Union going in a different direction by doing less and doing it better.

I therefore voted against this report.