Tuesday 19 February 2019
A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 12 February 2019. The UK was represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council discussed the following:
Early morning session
The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 11 February meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.
European Central Bank—executive board member
The Council endorsed the appointment of Philip Lane as a new member of the European Central Bank executive board.
European system of financial supervision review
The Council agreed a general approach on the review of the European system of financial supervision.
Current financial services legislative proposals
The Romanian presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.
Decision making in EU taxation policy
The Council held an exchange of views on the European Commission’s proposal to move to qualified majority voting (QMV) in EU taxation policy.
Fiscal sustainability report
The Council adopted Council conclusions on the 2018 fiscal sustainability report.
Discharge of the EU budget
The Council approved a Council recommendation to the European Parliament to discharge the Commission of the implementation of the 2017 EU budget.
EU budget guidelines
The Council adopted Council conclusions on the EU budget guidelines for 2020.
AOB—carbon pricing and aviation tax
Following a presentation by the Netherlands, the Council held an exchange of views on carbon pricing and aviation tax.
Chemical Weapons Convention: Annual Statement of UK Protective Programme 2017
My right hon. Friend the Minister in the House of Lords (the right hon. the Earl Howe PC) has made the following written ministerial statement.
The UK’s chemical protection programme is designed to protect against the use of chemical weapons. Such a programme is permitted by the chemical weapons convention, with which the United Kingdom is fully compliant. Under the terms of the convention, we are required to provide information annually to the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons. In accordance with the Government’s commitment to openness, I am placing in the Library of the House a copy of the summary that has been provided to the organisation outlining the UK’s chemical protection programme in 2017.
Housing, Communities and Local Government
National Planning Policy Framework
The national planning policy framework is fundamental to delivering the homes and other development that we need, achieving high-quality places and protecting our environment.
Last year we published a revised framework, which implemented a range of reforms to help make planning more predictable and transparent, drive up quality and support delivery.
A consultation on further updates to the framework and associated planning guidance ran from 26 October to 7 December 2018, and the Government are grateful to everyone who responded. Having considered those responses, we are making very minor changes to the text of the framework, which are reflected in an updated version being published today. A copy of the revised framework is available on the Department’s web site, alongside our response to the consultation.