The Lisbon Treaty faces the Irish people again in the Autumn. This time the Irish are to be assured that it does not abrogate or alter their sovereign, constitutional powers in matters of neutrality, nor interfere with abortion lawmaking, or taxation. That's quite a list. What is more, guarantees of the Brown 'red line' variety that were negotiated by Blair were rejected as not worth the paper etc., (ouch) and protocols added to the Treaty were insisted on. Protocols form part of the body of the Treaty and re-ratification by member-states that have completed the process might be in order.
At this point Brown entered private discussions with the Prime Minister of Ireland. What has he done now that enabled the final communique to state that Ireland would accept the protocols being joined to 'a' Treaty? If the plan is to add them to the Croatian Accession Treaty there are problems with that from current member-states who have no love for Croatia. And if not that Treaty, which treaty? The Irish people might insist on being told and looking at the wording, and who could blame them? We all need to hear what an Irish prime minister might have obtained from a UK prime minister, a notorious liar and a Scottish Protestant liar at that. What is the bribe? Or was it threats? Probably both. And why should the Irish people believe a word? Still it will be interesting to hear what they are promised.
In any case, President Klaus of the Czech Republic is correct. Any protocols modifying the Lisbon Treaty so profoundly with respect to a signatory need the other signatories' assent. The people of the United Kingdom may not have a means of constitutional redress, but other member-states' people most certainly do, not least Germany's which currently has two challenges to the Lisbon Treaty under consideration.
And Brown will learn to regret the reputation he has earned for not being able to tell the truth or keep his word.
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