A set of claims doing the rounds on social media pupports to raise awareness of Many Scary Things that will happen to the UK (usually at a future date, with the year 2022 being the one usually quoted) if we don't leave the EU thanks to the Lisbon Treaty. The specific claims are (click to enlarge):

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This is, as with many claims circulating on social media, is "distinctly lacking in the truth department". The posts containing these claims invariably repeat the allegations in breathless fashion and without providing a link to the text of the Lisbon Treaty, which is freely available online. The Lisbon Treaty was signed in 2007 and came into effect in 2009. It contains no references to "2020" or "2022". The term "abstention veto" used in the claim is confusion between two voting concepts: either not expressing an opinion (abstention) or casting a vote against when unanimous agreement is required to pass the proposal (veto). Interestingly, the text of the Lisbon Treaty refers to "unanimous" aor "unanimity" being required on well over 100 occasions including taxation, admission of new member states to the EU and changes to EU treaties (including, somewhat ironically given the nature of the claims made, removal of veto power).

A Twitter thread by Steve Peers containing a full takedown of the "Lisbon Treaty 2022" myth is available. As a Professor of EU Law at the University of Essex, Peers summarises the claims made above as "tl;dr: It's bat****".

As with many Leaver claims, these scare stories require the reader to believe that the UK is a global force to be reckoned with, that we don't need the EU and that we are powerless within the EU and continually pushed around. None of this is true.

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