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New Commissioner-designate stuns MEPs with Lisbon Treaty gaffe

Thursday, 27th August 2009

East Midlands Conservative MEP Roger Helmer has today congratulated his colleague Nirj Deva, for his question to the Belgian nominee Karel de Gucht over the EU’s deliberate crushing of informed debate on the notorious Lisbon Treaty, something which Mr Helmer has been opposing since it was first proposed.

A new nominee for the European Commission said that the aim of the Lisbon Treaty was to be unreadable. 

Mr Deva MEP, who is the Vice-President of the Development Committee, quoted the Commissioner-Designate as saying: “As the directly elected European institution, representing the European citizens, the Parliament plays a central role in making Europe and its institutions democratic and legitimate and should bring Europe closer to its citizens.” 

Addressing du Gucht directly, Deva said: “A referendum would really bring “Europe closer to its citizens” but the governments of Europe reneged on the promise when they thought they would lose.  You are reported as saying to Flanders Info in a 2007 interview: “The aim of the Constitutional Treaty was to be more readable; the aim of [the Lisbon] treaty is to be unreadable [...] The Constitution aimed to be clear, whereas this treaty had to be unclear. It is a success."

Deva asked: “How do you square that “success” with your desiring to bring Europe closer to its citizens?”

De Gucht said: “Whilst the original Constitutional Treaty was technical, and correct, people didn’t read the Lisbon Treaty, they didn’t understand the first word about it.” 

To gasps of astonishment, the Belgian former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister continued unaware of the deep hole he was digging: “No real debate about the Lisbon treaty could happen. This was a deliberate decision of the European Council.”

Speaking immediately after the meeting, Mr Helmer said:

“This was probably the most jaw-dropping statement I have heard from an EU Commissioner in my ten years as an MEP. It shows the level of arrogance the European elites have for the people of Europe.

“British Conservatives demand a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon, and demand one now. This charade must come to an end immediately.”