Commons second reading European Union (Approvals) Bill

04 February 2013

MPs debated the second reading of the European Union (Approvals) Bill in the House of Commons on Monday 4 February 2013

Summary of the European Union (Approvals) Bill

The European Union (Approvals) Bill aims to approve two draft EU Council decisions and one draft decision of the European Council (the EU Heads of State and Government).

  • The first draft decision provides for the electronic version of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) to be the authentic and legally recognised edition of the OJ.
  • The second draft decision provides for a new Multiannual Framework for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency to operate from the beginning of 2013 until the end of 2017.
  • The third draft decision maintains the number of European Commissioners at one per Member State, as requested by the Government of Ireland as a condition for ratifying the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

Primary legislation is needed for all three draft decisions in accordance with the provisions of the European Union Act 2011 before the UK Government can support their adoption in the EU Council.

Progress of the Bill

The Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 November 2012. It completed its Lords stages on 21 January 2013 and was introduced to the Commons with first reading on also on 21 January. 

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the European Union (Approvals) Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.

What happens at second reading?

At second reading the House debates the whole principle of the bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.

The Member in charge or the Minister moves the motion 'that the bill be now read a second time'. MPs then debate the bill.

At the end of the debate the Speaker determines whether there are any objections to the motion being debated and asks for the Ayes and Noes.

Members voice their opinion, and if no objections are made, the bill passes second reading without a vote. If the Speaker believes Members have voiced disagreement, a division is called and a vote taken.

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