Sharing ‘fake news’ about the Lisbon Treaty

editorial image

A reader’s letter from Arthur Kay on 15 March 2019 makes ridiculous, false claims about the Lisbon Treaty and the changes that are due to happen in 2020.

This treaty was signed in 2007 and entered into force in 2009; in the UK the EU (Amendment) Bill comfortably passed the House of Commons in 2008.

None of these alleged future changes were ever identified or discussed.

It is obvious why, contrary to many people’s beliefs the Lisbon Treaty says absolutely nothing about legislative changes post 2020.

Arthur Kay clearly has misunderstood the term “2020 vision;” it is meant to apply to perfect eyesight, not the ability to imagine “2020” appearing in a document when it doesn’t.

A simple search for “2020” in the Lisbon Treaty, which is available online, will yield exactly zero results.

However, the treaty includes the UK’s continued explicit opt-out from adopting the Euro (p181) or joining Schengen (p264) as well as myriad other special exceptions.

Mr Kay then goes on to state nine changes that are allegedly legislated to happen in 2020 and beyond, all of them complete lies and there are howlers such as no longer enacting our own laws and losing control of oil and gas rights.

You have my written word that I will donate £1,000 to the registered charity of your choice if anyone in the comments section can reference where in the Lisbon Treaty any of these changes are; my money is safe.

Which leads me to question the motivations of anybody sharing “fake news” about the Lisbon Treaty, which has happened tens of thousands of times online and sadly now made it to the Sussex Express too.

Are people who share this gullible or too lazy to undertake a simple internet search?

Or are they trying to mislead others?

Opinion in the UK remains divided over Brexit but when someone, such as the aforementioned reader, needs to use outright lies, their argument clearly needs improving.

I welcome reasoned debate on opinions, but let’s all agree on facts first.

Phil Milburn,

Braid Road

Edinburgh