Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 16:18 UK

Tycoon's EU treaty appeal fails

EU flag
The judge said the law cannot interfere in the political process

Millionaire businessman Stuart Wheeler has lost his appeal to fight through the courts for a public referendum on the EU Lisbon Treaty.

The Court of Appeal judge said the case would have "no prospect of success".

The ruling came two days after the UK officially ratified the treaty.

Mr Wheeler accused the government of "disgraceful impropriety" by failing to keep its promise to hold a referendum on the failed EU constitution.

Previously, two High Court judges dismissed Mr Wheeler's claims that there was a "legitimate expectation" of a public vote.

Mr Wheeler, 73, who made a multi-million-pound fortune from spread betting firm IG Index, said the Lisbon Treaty was substantially the same as the constitution and should therefore go to public vote.

The appeal court judge, Lord Justice Dyson, said that by ratifying the treaty, Parliament had decided against a referendum and it was not the court's place to interfere in the political process.

The treaty was rejected by Irish voters in a referendum on 12 June 2008 and, under EU rules, it cannot enter into force if any of the 27 member states fails to ratify it.

UK ratifies the EU Lisbon Treaty
17 Jul 08 |  UK Politics

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The Independent EU Lisbon treaty officially ratified by UK new - 23 hrs ago
Slate Magazine Subprime Krugman. - 14 Jul 2008

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