Lisbon Treaty — Referendum — rejected — 5 Mar 2008 at 18:30
Oliver Letwin MP, West Dorset voted to require a referendum before the UK ratified the Treaty of Lisbon, a foundation of the European Union.
The technical process for ratifying the Treaty (which could have been conditional on the referendum) is its mention in the European Union (Amendment) Bill. The Treaty of Lisbon would be incorporated into United Kingdom law by inserting it into the list of treaties covered by the European Communities Act 1972, which is the foundation stone of Britain's membership of the EU.
Owing to a 3-line whipped no-vote by their leader, all Liberal Democrat MPs who voted in this division were considered to have rebelled, and those who were front bench spokesmen had to resign from their positions.
The main aims of the Lisbon Treaty were to:
- Streamline EU institutions
- Establish a permanent President of the European Council (as of 16 March 2010 held by Herman Van Rompuy)
- Establish the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (as of 16 March 2010 held by Catherine Ashton)
- Give new powers to the EU over justice and home affairs
- Remove the national veto in some areas such as energy security and emergency aid
-  William Hague MP, House of Commons, 5 March 2008.
-  See New Clause 1, Amendments to be discussed in Committee describes the referendum question, 5 March 2008.
-  European Union (Amendment) Bill, full text.
-  Lisbon EU treaty, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
-  Treaty of Lisbon, Wikipedia.
-  European Communities Act 1972, Section 1(2), Consolidated version, List of Treaties that have been incorporated.
-  Senior Lib Dems quit over EU vote, BBC News, 5 March 2008.
-  BBC News Q&A: The Lisbon Treaty, 5 February 2010
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||3||186 (+2 tell)||0||99.0%|
|Lab||308 (+2 tell)||28||0||96.0%|