[JURIST] The UK officially completed its ratification of the EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], formally known as the Treaty of Lisbon [official website; PDF text], by filing approval documents in Rome on Thursday. The Treaty was incorporated into British law by a bill [text; explanatory notes] that was passed by the House of Commons in March and the House of Lords [JURIST report] in June before receiving Royal Assent [government backgrounder] and surviving a court challenge [decision, PDF; JURIST report] seeking a national referendum [JURIST report] on the Treaty later that month. The Treaty will not take effect until all 27 EU member states approve the new rules, and its future has been uncertain since Ireland rejected the treaty [JURIST report] in a June referendum. AFP has more.
Several EU members, including Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, have joined the UK in continuing the ratification process despite the rejection, while others, including Poland and Austria, have refused to move forward [JURIST reports] until after an October meeting designed to reconcile the future of the agreement. EU leaders signed the reform treaty [JURIST report] in December, and 14 countries had ratified the document [JURIST news archive] before the Irish rejection. In 2005, an earlier draft European constitution [JURIST news archive] also failed when voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] rejected the proposal in national referenda.