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EC Law

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many European Union Directives have been transposed into UK law in the last 12 months. (133216)

Individual Government Departments are responsible for transposing EU Directives into UK law in their policy areas. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not transpose EU Directives. Transposition notes stating all the main elements of individual EU Directives that have been or will be transposed into UK law are available in the Library of the House.

EU Directives may be directly applicable, implemented by administrative means, or introduced when domestic legislation is amended for other purposes. The European Communities Act 1972 (the ECA) allows the Government to implement EU Directives either by primary legislation or by secondary legislation.

Standard Note SN/IA/2888, which is available in the Library of the House, gives information on the number of Statutory Instruments (S.I.) enacted under the ECA in each parliamentary session and the proportion of the total number of S.I.s this represents. Between 1998 and 2005 an average of 8.9 per cent. of S.I.s were laid in order to implement EU legislation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many European Union Directives have been repealed from UK law in the last 12 months. (133217)

House of Commons Standard Note SNIA-02888 states that 60 directives were repealed or expired in 2006. The Commission continue to make progress with their ambitious programme to simplify and reduce existing EU laws. In November 2006 they announced a further 43 simplification proposals and identified 10 pending proposals to be withdrawn. The UK continues to support the Commission’s efforts. We welcome the agreement at the Spring European Council in March to cut administrative burdens by 25 per cent. by 2012; delivering on this commitment will help boost European competitiveness and help stimulate further the Lisbon jobs and growth agenda.

A detailed progress report on better regulation is available in the Commission’s 2006 general report available at:

http://europa.eu/generalreport/en/welcome.htm