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EU: Scrutiny Reserve

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which proposals for European Union legislation they gave agreement to were passed in 2005 and in 2006 to date on which the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution relating to the work of the House of Lords European Union Select Committee was still in place; and which of these were deemed to be confidential, routine or trivial. [HL7486]

The Government provide the House of Lords European Union Committee with twice-yearly reports of the occasions when Ministers gave agreement to legislative proposals in the Council of Ministers before the committee had lifted its scrutiny reserve. On each occasion, Ministers write to the chairman of the European Union Committee setting out why the Government judged it important to give agreement before scrutiny had been completed. For an accurate assessment of the reasons in each case, we would need to consult the correspondence between the lead Minister and the chairman of the committee and confirm with lead departments their assessment of the reasons. This would incur disproportionate cost.

In 2005, there were 44 occasions. However, that figure was higher than would have been the case had Parliament not been dissolved in April and May due to the general election. In 2006, there have been15 occasions up to the end of June. Figures have yet to be compiled for the period since the end of June. I have placed copies of the reports covering the period from January 2005 to June 2006 in the Library.