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Thursday, 5 January 2012

FCO: no EU Treaty was drafted at the European Council in December

Three weeks ago we submitted a Freedom of Information Request for a copy of the EU treaty that David Cameron was supposed to have vetoed.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have responded today with the following:
Dear Mr Parr,

Thank-you for your email. I apologise for the short delay in getting back to you.

We are not treating your email as an FOI request as no EU Treaty was drafted at the European Council in December. So I have passed your email asking about the Prime Minister’s rejection of a new EU Treaty and a financial transaction tax to my colleagues in our Europe Directorate for a response. They will be in touch shortly.
No treaty?  That's interesting because according to the Conservative Party website on the 9th of December ...
Prime Minister David Cameron has today spoken of his decision to veto a new European treaty following a round of discussions with European leaders in Brussels.
The Conservatives misleading the public?  Surely not.

If you read the FOI request that we submitted, the first question asks for a copy of the treaty that Cameron vetoed and "If no draft treaty exists, please provide a précis of the intended purpose and contents of the proposed treaty".  So no thanks, a statement from the EU Directorate isn't really good enough.
Dear Mr Leinster,

Thank you for your reply.  In the first question in my request I said "If no draft treaty exists, please provide a précis of the intended purpose and contents of the proposed treaty".  As no treaty exists but the proposed contents of said treaty were "vetoed" this information must surely exist and as such I should be entitled to it under the FOIA, notwithstanding the usual restrictions around national security/interest.