With a heavy heart, Czech President Vaclav Klaus has finally signed the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty. He said that with its entry into force, the republic will cease to be a sovereign state.
Fellow eurosceptics shared his misgivings; Prague was the last of the 27 EU capitals to complete ratification procedures. Klaus demanded, and was granted last week, a last-minute opt-out in case of wartime property claims. With this, only a Czech Constitutional Court review prevented him from signing. Then it threw out a complaint brought by a group of Senators. Klaus reiterated that he fundamentally disapproved. The Czech ratification moves the goalposts for the Conservatives in eurosceptic Britain. As long as Klaus delayed, their leader, David Cameron, suggested that even though Britain had completed its ratification, he would have something to say about it if his party replaces Labour in power after elections next year. Cameron said: “They (Labour) could have had a referendum. They could still have a referendum. They refuse to do that. They let people down, and people should know where the responsibility lies for not allowing us a say on this important European treaty.” Following Klaus’s final flourish, the current Swedish EU presidency said the Lisbon Treaty will become effective this December 1, leaving only weeks to recruit key new figures.