Lisbon Treaty - Gale attacks Foreign Secretary (June 17th 2008)
North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, yesterday (Monday 16th June) attacked Foreign Minister David Miliband over his "arrogance" following the Irish "No" vote in the referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon.
In his statement the Foreign Secretary said that the Irish Government needed to be given time to consider its position and that in the meantime the government would proceed with the European Union (Amendment, Bill, (The "Treaty of Lisbon" Bill) which is now in the House of Lords and would ratify the Treaty.
Speaking in the chamber following the Foreign Minister's statement the MP said:
"The Foreign Secretary demonstrates an almost Eurocratic arrogance in suggesting that the Irish Government should be allowed to consider their position when it is the Council of Ministers that ought to be considering its position.
Following the French and Dutch "no" votes the Foreign Secretary said it was no longer possible to ratify the constitution.
So why is the British Foreign secretary now saying, in precisely the same terms, that in the light of the Irish "no" vote it is possible to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon?"
Replying, the Forewing Secretary said that "After the 2005 referendums….the treaty was only just beginning its passage. It was certainly not the case that two thirds of the countries had passed the treaties into law: they had not" Adding that "The truth is that precedent plays in both ways and each side can take comfort from those precedents".
Following the exchange, Roger Gale said:
"This has nothing to do with "precedent playing both ways". The fact is that after the French and Dutch votes the council of Ministers was forced to concede that the Constitution was dead. Now, after the Irish vote, they are trying to pretend that nothing has changed and instead want to allow time for Europe to bully the Irish government and the Irish people into submission while steamrollering ahead.
It is a fact that in each of the three cases where ordinary people have been allowed to vote those people have thrown out the bureaucrats’ dream. Clearly, so far as David Miliband and Gordon Brown are concerned the French matter and the Irish do not.
We now know precisely what "democracy" means in Brussels and we have to hope that tomorrow (Wednesday 18th June) the House of Lords will chuck this wretched and despised measure out."