Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with sale of warship to Russia

    Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

Barroso congratulates UK on passing EU treaty

Latest update : 2008-06-19

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso congratulated the UK for becoming the first nation to pass the Lisbon treaty after it was rejected by the Irish in a referendum. (Report: N. Germain)

The European Union's Lisbon Treaty was passed by Britain's parliament late Wednesday, hours ahead of an EU summit set to be clouded by Ireland's crushing rejection of it last week.
  
After a stormy debate in the unelected upper House of Lords, peers effectively ratified the treaty, giving the EU Amendment Bill a third and final reading without a vote.
  
The bill is set to go for Royal Assent by Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday morning, hours before Prime Minister Gordon Brown takes his place at the EU summit in Brussels.
  
Brown's government has defied critics who have called for a British referendum.
  
The Lisbon Treaty, which aims to streamline EU institutions after the bloc's expansion eastwards, was approved by members of parliament's lower House of Commons prior to last Thursday's referendum in Ireland.
  
All 27 member states have to ratify the treaty for it to take effect, but there have been increasing calls for it to be scrapped following its rejection by Irish voters.
  
Wednesday's Lords debate in London saw sometimes stormy scenes, while at least four protestors had to be ushered out of the public gallery. One protester, wearing a red t-shirt, shouted "the Irish have voted no."
  
Peers voted to reject a proposal to postpone the decision until October.
  
An opposition Conservative Party member of the Lords proposed an amendment which would delay approval of the treaty bill to take account of the changed situation after the Irish "No."
  
Lord David Howell, who sought to delay Wednesday's approval, said it was senseless to ratify the treaty if, as critics claim, it was killed by the Irish vote.
  
"If this treaty is truly dead... the next stage is pointless and a waste of time," he said. "If there are some changes to the treaty it is our duty to give the elected Commons a chance to reflect on the new situation."
  
Conservative Lord Richard Shepherd added: "Why can't you simply rejoice in (what) the Irish people have done?"
  
Brown was bullish earlier Wednesday, telling the Commons that Britain respected the Irish decision but pointing out that Dublin had asked for more time to discuss the way forward.
  
"They have not suggested either (that) they wish to postpone the ratification of the treaty of other countries or that they wish to stall the whole process," he said.
  
Any second vote by the Irish would be a matter for Dublin, he added.
  
"Just as we have respect for the Irish, we should have respect for the other countries that are processing the treaty and ratifying the treaty as well," he added.
  
Britain could, in theory, ratify the treaty and have it on the statute book by 11:00 a.m. (1000 GMT) Thursday, just before EU leaders meet in Brussels to discuss the ramifications of Ireland's rejection, the Foreign Office said.
  
The usually brief procedure could be complete before Brown travels to Brussels for the late-afternoon start of the two-day summit, a spokesman said.
  
The Lords' approval of the text agreed by the Commons bypasses the need for further "ping-pong" consultations between the two houses on the fine print.
  
The British ratification process, which until last week passed largely unnoticed by the public, has been put in the spotlight after events across the Irish Sea.
  
Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, a eurosceptic, questioned Wednesday why Britain was pushing ahead with the process.
  
Meanwhile, Bill Cash, a eurosceptic Conservative member of the Commons, is seeking a judicial review from London's High Court that the treaty is "incapable of ratification".
  
And a wealthy Tory supporter is also awaiting a High Court decision on his legal challenge to the government's refusal to hold a referendum.

Date created : 2008-06-19

COMMENT(S)