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EU: National Veto

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government which policy areas remain subject to national veto under the Treaties of Rome, as amended. [HL326]

The treaty of Lisbon introduces 51 moves to qualified majority voting. Twenty of them will offer faster decision-making where the UK wants to see better systems in place, for example: aid to disaster zones; protecting British business ideas; strengthening the EU's research and innovation capability; liberalisation of the energy market. Sixteen of these either will not apply to the UK or will apply only if we choose to opt in; for example, in justice and home affairs. Fifteen of them will be purely procedural changes; for example, how we adjust the rules for technical implementing committees. All other areas where unanimity applied under the treaty of Nice will remain unchanged following entry into force of the treaty of Lisbon. I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given to PQ 207092 of January 2005.