Cameron’s deal is a fraud on the British public.

This is the view of some, are they correct in their assertion?

“The package is legally binding and irreversible. At its heart is an international law decision, a type of international treaty that will be registered at the UN. It cannot be amended or revoked unless all member states, including the UK, agree to it.”

The above are not my words about the Prime Minister’s EU deal but those of Philip Hammond MP, writing in the Guardian. Foreign Secretary is one the great offices of state. Its holder, whoever they are, is a pillar of the British establishment, surely someone of such importance would not misinform the voting public over a matter as important as this…would they? The Foreign Secretary is merely echoing the words of his boss the Prime Minister, so is it “…legally binding and irreversible.”? If not then the reader is free to form their own opinion of both Mr Hammond and Mr Cameron.

Let us look at arguably the most important part of what is a threadbare deal which is to guarantee Britain’s exemption from ‘ever closer union’. The wording is as follows;

“It is recognised that the United Kingdom, in the light of the specific situation it has under the Treaties, is not committed to further political integration into the European Union.”

The claim is that this is binding in international law with EU treaty change pending, which is surely enough to assuage the worry any undecided voter may have on this score. However there is a major problem for those selling the deal as legally binding and it comes in the shape of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties. The deal was made between the heads of state of the 28 governments acting intergovernmentally and not as the European Council and they are guaranteeing something out of their control, which is to bind those who come after them. As eureferendum blog points out;

“In other words, the heads of state or government are making a promise which they are not in a position to make, and have no means of enforcing. In their role as heads of state or government, they cannot commit the European Union to triggering the Article 48 procedure, which requires action by the European Council and the European Parliament, and then agreement of the individual member states at some time in the unspecified future.

At that point, the heads of state or government may or may not be the same people who currently made the promise. Not least, there are German and French general elections, and the chancellor and president might have changed. Predecessors cannot bind their successors.”

And this is reinforced by Article 61 of the Vienna Convention. The Convention further damns the legal basis of the deal in Article 34 which states;

“a treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent”.

The heads of government have acted as an intergovernmental body and independently of the EU, they cannot bind it (the third party) to its provisions without its consent and the EU is in no position to provide it. As eureferendum points out;

“Here, the dictum res inter alios acta vel iudicata, aliis nec nocet nec prodocet applies (two or more people cannot agree amongst each other to establish an obligation for a third party who was not involved in the agreement).”

So to put it simply international law points to this ‘deal’ as being far from “…legally binding and irreversible.” Before you make up your mind about how this reflects on the reputations of the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary consider the view of Chancellor Merkel who was there during the negotiations;

Or more explosively President Hollande;

Now make up your mind…

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