European Union Committee

The European Union Committee[1] is a select committee of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Its terms of reference are "To consider European Union documents and other matters relating to the European Union", as well as "to represent the House as appropriate in interparliamentary co-operation within the European Union".[2]

Much of the detailed scrutiny work on EU documents is conducted by the sub-committees, each dealing with a separate policy area. The main committee oversees the work of the sub-committees and approves their reports and scrutinises proposals that cross subject areas, such as the Treaty of Lisbon and the multiannual financial framework. Beginning in 2020, the committee has also focused on the implementation of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.[3]

Committee members represented the House of Lords at a number of different interparliamentary meetings, such as COSAC and joint committee meetings at the European Parliament. As part of their work representing the House in interparliamentary co-operation within the EU, the committees contribute to the IPEX database, which brings together information about national parliamentary scrutiny from all EU member states.[4]

Select Committee membership edit

The Select Committee has nineteen members: the chairman, the chairmen of the sub-committees, and other members, all of whom also sit on sub-committees.

As of December 2022, the members of the main select committee are as follows:[5]

Member Party
Earl of Kinnoull0(Chair) Crossbench
Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench
Baroness Donaghy0(Chair of Services) Labour
Lord Faulkner of Worcester Labour
Lord Goldsmith Labour
Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat
Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench
Lord Lamont of Lerwick Conservative
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Conservative
Lord Oates Liberal Democrat
Baroness Primarolo Labour
Lord Ricketts0(Chair of Security and Justice) Crossbench
Lord Sharkey Liberal Democrat
Lord Teverson0(Chair of Environment) Liberal Democrat
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Crossbench
Baroness Verma0(Chair of Goods) Conservative
Lord Wood of Anfield Labour

Baroness Couttie ( Conservative) was a member of the EU Select Committee until her death in December 2022.

Scrutiny work edit

The UK Government deposits European documents, such as draft directives and communications from the European Commission, in parliament. These are then subjected to scrutiny by the EU Select Committee and its counterpart in the House of Commons, the European Scrutiny Committee. In the House of Lords system, each deposited document is sifted by subject area and importance for the Select Committee or one of the sub-committees to scrutinise carefully on an ongoing basis.[6] The chairman of the Select Committee pursues any issues arising in correspondence with the responsible minister, and from time to time directly with the commission. This correspondence is publicly available.[7]

Sub-committees edit

Prior to the start of the 2012−13 Session, the Select Committee had seven sub-committees. In May 2012, at the start of the new parliamentary session, the Select Committee restructured its sub-committees, eliminating the previous Sub-committee G (Social Policies and Consumer Protection)[8] and revising the remits of the remaining six sub-committees.[9] Shortly after the United Kingdom's withdrawal agreement with the EU went into effect in January 2020, the sub-committees were further reduced to five, merging the previous six sub-committees into four, and adding an International Agreements sub-committee. The International Agreements sub-committee was re-established as the separate International Agreements Committee in January 2021.

The current sub-committees are as follows:

Environment edit

The EU Environment Sub-committee examines the European Union's policies regarding the environment as well as agriculture, energy, climate change, food, fisheries, biosecurity, and overall public health. In addition, it considers the environmental impact of the UK−EU level playing field. The sub-committee largely replaces the previous EU Energy and Environment Sub-committee.

As of February 2024, the EU Environment Sub-committee's membership is:[10]

Member Party
Lord Teverson0(Chair) Liberal Democrat
Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench
Baroness Bryan of Partick Labour
Lord Cameron of Dillington Crossbench
Lord Carter of Coles Labour
Lord Giddens Labour
Baroness Jolly Liberal Democrat
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Conservative
Duke of Montrose Conservative
Earl of Stair Crossbench
Lord Young of Norwood Green Labour

Lord Cormack ( Conservative) was a member of the EU Environment Sub-committee until his death in February 2024.

Goods edit

The EU Goods Sub-committee considers the European Union's policies and legislative proposals, as well as ongoing negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union, regarding future trade in goods (including customs), level playing fields, consumer protections, public procurement and transport. The sub-committee replaces various aspects of the previous sub-committees on EU External Affairs and EU Internal Market.

As of February 2023, the EU Goods Sub-committee's membership is:[11]

Member Party
Baroness Verma0(Chair) Conservative
Lord Berkeley Labour
Lord Faulkner of Worcester Labour
Lord Inglewood Non-affiliated
Baroness Kramer Liberal Democrat
Lord Lamont of Lerwick Conservative
Lord Lilley Conservative
Lord Russell of Liverpool Crossbench
Lord Shipley Liberal Democrat
Lord Turnbull Crossbench
Lord Wood of Anfield Labour

Security and Justice edit

The EU Security and Justice Sub-committee considers the United Kingdom's future relations with the EU regarding internal and external security, including criminal justice, policing, data-sharing, and defence. The sub-committee combines various aspects of the previous sub-committees on Home Affairs, External Affairs, and Justice.

As of January 2023, the EU Security and Justice Sub-committee's membership is:[12]

Member Party
Lord Ricketts0(Chair) Crossbench
Lord Anderson of Ipswich Crossbench
Lord Anderson of Swansea Labour
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom Conservative
Lord Dholakia Liberal Democrat
Baroness Finn Conservative
Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat
Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate Conservative
Lord Lexden Conservative
Lord Polak Conservative
Baroness Primarolo Labour
Lord Rowlands Labour

Services edit

The EU Services Sub-committee considers policies related to the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union in the areas of trading in financial and non-financial services, as well as science, education, and culture. The sub-committee largely replaces the previous sub-committee on Financial Affairs with additional roles from the sub-committee on Home Affairs.

As of July 2023, the EU Services Sub-committee's membership is:[13]

Member Party
Baroness Donaghy0(Chair) Labour
Lord Bruce of Bennachie Liberal Democrat
Lord McNally Liberal Democrat
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Conservative
Baroness Prashar Crossbench
Lord Sharkey Liberal Democrat
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Crossbench
Viscount Trenchard Conservative
Lord Vaux of Harrowden Crossbench

Baroness Couttie ( Conservative) was a member of the EU Services Sub-committee until her death in December 2022.

External links edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Committee home page".
  2. ^ "House of Lords Hansard, 16 May 2012, col. 400".
  3. ^ "European Union Committee – Role".
  4. ^ "House of Lords IPEX entry".
  5. ^ "European Union Committee – Membership".
  6. ^ "Committee's Introduction to Scrutiny".
  7. ^ "EU Committee Publications".
  8. ^ "Sub-committee G web page".
  9. ^ "European Union Committee – Restructuring of Sub-committees".
  10. ^ "EU Environment Sub-committee – membership".
  11. ^ "EU Goods Sub-committee – membership".
  12. ^ "European Union Security and Justice Sub-committee – membership".
  13. ^ "European Union Services Sub-committee – membership".