A Government-led Yes campaign in a Lisbon II referendum will be seeking to deceive people that Declarations to be made by the Irish and other Governments regarding various aspects of Lisbon will make a difference to that Treaty, when they do not.

The EU Governments do not  intend to change a jot or tittle of the Lisbon Treaty, for the slightest change would make it a new Treaty.  And any such changes would have to be ratified from scratch by all 27 EU States again.

Please note  that the difference between a Protocol and  a Declaration attaching to a Treaty is fundamentally important.

Declarations are not legally binding. They are merely  political statements or promises, made by one state unilaterally or by several States collectively.

Unlike the headings –  usually called  Titles and Chapters – of a Treaty and any Protocols that may be attached to it, Declarations  do not form part of its legally binding text. There are several such Declarations already appended to the Lisbon Treaty.

These are NOT legally binding on the States party to the Treaty. There are also several Protocols attached to Lisbon. These ARE legally binding, quite as much as the main text of that Treaty.

The EU Court of Justice interprets EU Treaties. An EC/EU Treaty means what the Court of Justice (ECJ) says it means in relation to any issue in dispute. Political Declarations canot override the provisions of a Treaty, which the ECJ would interpret if called upon. They therefore cannot bind the ECJ.

European law, which derives from the EU/EC Treaties, has sprimacy over  all national and domestic law with which it may be in conflict. It also overrides any international treaties  having domestic effect with which European law may be in conflict. And it is the EU Court of Justice  which is the final arbiter of what European law covers and what the EC/EU Treaties mean. Declarations would have no effect on that.


New Poll – 70% reject a second Lisbon referendum