All treaties signed by our head of government become part of english law automatically as a result of european communities act 1972, s 2(1).

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As a result of European Communities Act 1972, S2(1),all EU Treaties signed by our head of government become part of English law automatically.  The Act states that:

'All such rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions from time to time created or arising by or under the Treaties, and all such remedies and procedures from time to time provided for by or under the Treaties, as in accordance with the Treaties are without further enactment to be given legal effect or used in the United Kingdom shall be recognised and available in law, and be enforced, allowed and followed accordingly; and the expression “enforceable Community right” and similar expressions shall be read as referring to one to which this subsection applies.'

Effectively this means that Community law is part of our law and allows individuals to rely on it Yvonne van Duyn v Home Office.

The Treaty of Lisbon came into force on 1 December 2009 as a result of negotiations between EU member countries and involved the Commission and Parliament. Each of the 27 EU members ratified the treaty in line with its own national constitution.


People of the United Kingdom are entitled to rely on the rights in the Treaty of Rome and other treaties,despite the fact that those rights may not have been specifically enacted in English Law as in the case of Macarthys Ltd v Wendy Smith. [1980]  and Macarthys Ltd v Smith (No.2) [1980].

EUROPA - EU treaties | European Union

The Treaty of Lisbon | EU fact sheets | European Parliament

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