Motion to Agree
That the Report from the House of Lords Commission European travel on Parliamentary business (3rd Report, HL Paper 423) be agreed to.
My Lords, the report before us today invites the House to agree changes relating to European travel on parliamentary business within the scheme of financial support for Members.
The current House of Lords rules are covered by a resolution of the House agreed on 5 March 2003, which specifically links the travel to national parliaments of European Union states or candidate countries and EU institutions in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Since then, the eligible countries and institutions have been revised to also include: national parliaments of Council of Europe member states; national parliaments of European Free Trade Association member states; any EU institution or agency—removing the restriction to those based in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg —and Council of Europe institutions in Strasbourg.
This report proposes the removal of the existing requirement for a link to national parliaments and EU or Council of Europe institutions and agencies and proposes that the countries eligible for support for European travel on parliamentary business should be defined as member states of the EU, member states of the Council of Europe, member states of the European Free Trade Association, and the Holy See. It also proposes that the resolution of 5 March 2003 be accordingly no longer operative. The requirements on eligibility of travel for reimbursement under the scheme, and for advance approval, would remain.
These proposals would more closely align the rules of the House in relation to support for European travel on parliamentary business with the rules for Members of the House of Commons. The report also proposes that the provision of support in relation to European travel on parliamentary business be reviewed in a year. I beg to move.