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UK House of Lords votes to ratify EU reform treaty

[JURIST] The UK House of Lords [official website] Wednesday passed a bill [text; explanatory notes] to ratify the EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], formally known as the Treaty of Lisbon [official website; PDF text], rejecting an amendment pushed by Conservative peers to postpone the upper chamber vote until October 20. The House of Commons approved the pact [BBC report] in March. Royal assent is expected Thursday, making ratification officially complete. The opposition Conservative Party had hoped to delay the vote in the Lords due to uncertainties about the treaty's future after an Irish referendum rejected it [JURIST report] last week. The instrument must be ratified by all 27 EU member states to take effect. AFP has more. Sky News has additional coverage.

France and Germany last week echoed a general call [press release, PDF] by EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso [official profile] for EU countries which have not ratified the treaty to continue with the process notwithstanding the Irish vote. European Union leaders signed the reform treaty [JURIST report] last December, and after UK action, nineteen countries will have ratified the document [JURIST archive]. In 2005, a draft European constitution [JURIST news archive] failed when voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] rejected the proposal in national referenda.

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