EU law and treaties

All Commons Briefing Papers
145 Documents
DateDescription
14.11.2016Brexit and the EU Court
The High Court has appealed to the Supreme Court for a decision on whether the Government can start the Brexit process by triggering Article 50 TEU using Prerogative powers. Some press reports said the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) would have the last word on this. But can the CJEU rule on matters of UK constitutional Law? Many experts believe that the question central to the case, but not ruled on by the High Court, was whether Article 50 can be withdrawn. If it can be revoked, then the argument that Article 50 notice leads inevitably to a loss of rights under the European Communities Act 1972 might not hold. This paper looks at the questions of revocability and referral to the EU Court.
11.11.2016Brexit reading list: legal and constitutional issues
The Commons Library has compiled, from a wide range of sources, a selection of analysis and comment relevant to the UK's forthcoming withdrawal from the European Union.
11.11.2016Brexit: the Brussels IIa regulation - cross-border child contact cases, and child abduction
This note considers the effect of Brexit on the UK in terms of the Brussels IIa regulation concerning cross-border child contact cases, and international child abduction within the EU.
10.11.2016Brexit: employment law
This short note discusses the interaction between UK and EU employment law; the potential consequences of Brexit; and the Government's position on the issue.
09.11.2016Brexit: some legal, constitutional and financial unknowns
This Commons Library briefing looks at some of the basic 'unknowns' relating to Brexit. The unknowns cover areas such as a role for the UK Parliament and the devolved legislatures in the Brexit process, relations with the EU institutions, the economic impact on the UK, and changes to citizens' rights.
01.11.2016Brexit and financial services
This Commons Library briefing paper brings together responses from financial organisations about the impact of the vote to leave the EU,. The vote to leave the EU has significant implications for the financial services sector, an economic sector which is critical to the UK economy. The degree of inter-linkage between the 'City' and the EU economies is substantial economically speaking and intricate in terms of the legislative interface.
04.10.2016International Child Abduction
This note sets out in summary the legal remedies to return a child following international child abduction, and also the permitted exceptions. Those affected by international child abduction should seek appropriate legal advice, and also contact Reunite International.
08.09.2016Brexit: trade aspects
This note looks at possible options for the UK's trading relationship with the EU, post-Brexit.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
02.08.2016Brexit and UK immigration and asylum policy: a reading list
This reading list collates some recent commentary on the implications of the EU referendum vote for future UK immigration and asylum policy, and links to some related Library briefings.
28.07.2016Brexit: What next for UK fisheries?
The implications of Brexit for fisheries are highly uncertain. The implications will depend on future negotiations with the EU and future UK Government policy.
28.07.2016Brexit: some legal and constitutional issues and alternatives to EU membership
This paper considers how the UK will leave the EU, some legal and constitutional issues, and possible alternatives to EU membership. What is the process for leaving the EU? Will the UK join a different grouping of states or go it alone? Will EU or UK citizens or businesses have any vested rights?
25.07.2016Brexit: how will it affect transport?
This Commons Library briefing paper discusses some of the pertinent issues in the four main transport policy areas: aviation, railways, roads and road-based public transport, and maritime. It will be updated and expanded as more information is published and new issues emerge.
20.07.2016Brexit and local government
This Commons Library briefing paper covers the possible impact of exiting the European Union on local authorities, with regard to devolution deals; EU structural funds; compliance with EU law; and medium-term financial implications.
14.07.2016UK tax after the EU referendum
This Commons Library briefing paper discusses the possible implications of the UK leaving the EU for the UK tax system and collates the comment that has been made on this specific aspect of Brexit following the vote on the EU referendum. Taxation is very largely a Member State competence. The implications of the UK lying outside the EU are likely to be less significant for taxation compared with other policy areas.
30.06.2016Brexit: what happens next?
Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, what will happen next? This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the immediate consequences of the vote and some of the longer term implications. This paper considers various questions about UK withdrawal from the EU and what is likely to happen in the coming weeks and months. The issues include the method of leaving the EU, continuing parliamentary scrutiny of EU business and the withdrawal negotiations, and the implications of Brexit for Scotland and Gibraltar.
30.06.2016Brexit: how does the Article 50 process work?
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the process of withdrawing from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. There could be a complex and difficult negotiation lasting two years or more, or the UK could leave without settling its exit terms or its future relationship with the EU.
29.06.2016Analysis of the EU Referendum results 2016
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper analyses the results of the referendum on EU membership held on 23 June 2016. The highest vote share for Leave (76%) was recorded in Boston (Lincolnshire). The highest vote share for Remain (96%) was recorded in Gibraltar. The dataset accompanying this briefing paper will be published soon.
24.06.2016Reading list on UK-EU relations 2013-16: reform, renegotiation, withdrawal
The Commons Library has compiled a selection of books, journal and press articles, think tank, parliamentary and library publications relevant to the UK's renegotiation of its membership of the European Union. This last update will be followed by a new series of briefings on the consequences of the Brexit vote.
26.05.2016EU Referendum: analysis of the UK's new EU Settlement
This Commons Library briefing looks at the new Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union agreed at the European Council on 17-19 February 2016. The Settlement consists of seven texts: a Decision and a Statement of Heads of State or Government and five Declarations.
19.05.2016Brexit and the UN Security Council
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the competing arguments about the possible effects of leaving the EU on the UK's permanent membership of the UN Security Council. The UK is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Would leaving the EU strengthen the UK's position in the UN, have no direct effect, or result in a loss of legitimacy for the UN? What if it resulted in Scotland leaving the UK? Views differ; but the difficulty of amending the UN Charter makes any change to the permanent membership of the Security Council unlikely.
22.04.2016Examples of other referendums on the European Union
This Commons Library Note charts referendums held since 1972 on EU matters in candidate and Member States, and also in Switzerland on its relations with the EU, with brief details on turnout and results. It also outlines the positions of France and Austria on holding a referendum on EU enlargement, particularly with regard to a possible Turkish accession.
19.04.2016The European Union: a guide to terminology, procedures and sources - House of Commons Background Paper
This Note aims to clarify some of the terminology used to describe the institutions, laws and procedures of the European Union. It also provides links to useful sources of information on the EU.
29.03.2016EU external agreements: EU and UK procedures
This Commons Library briefing looks at the procedures and some of the problems linked to treaty negotiation and ratification in the EU and the Member States, with particular reference to the UK. The EU concludes many international agreements with third States or international organisations. How does the EU negotiate these agreements and how does the UK scrutinise and ratify them?
29.03.2016EEA migrants: access to social housing (England)
Part 1 of this House of Commons Library briefing paper gives a broad overview of the law governing the rights of European Economic Area (EEA) migrants to access social housing in England. Part 2 considers whether there is any evidence to suggest that EEA migrants are able to 'jump the queue' to access social housing more quickly than other applicants.
12.03.2016Local authority boycotts
This note discusses proposals to restrict the ability of local authorities to carry out boycotts.
10.03.2016British Summer Time
For a number of years there have been calls to change clock times in the UK, so that more daylight would be experienced in the evenings rather than mornings throughout the year. The issue continues to be regularly raised in Parliament. This Briefing Paper provides an overview of the pros and cons of British Summer Time and proposals for further changes to clock times. It also summarises recent legislative attempts to change clock times in the UK.
09.02.2016EU referendum: UK's EU reform negotiations and the Tusk package
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the Prime Minister's proposals for EU reform, which he set out in a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in November 2015, concerning four broad areas: economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and free movement. It also looks at Donald Tusk's package of draft texts to address UK concerns, their implications and prospects for agreement.
30.12.2015EU referendum: reform negotiations June to December 2015
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the Prime Minister's proposed reforms, the launch of the UK reform agenda at the European Council in June 2015 and EU institutional initiatives of relevance to the Government's reform agenda. It also considers the level of support for the UK from other EU Member States, the role - if any - of the devolved administrations in the negotiations, public opinion, the referendum campaigns and other recent developments.
16.11.2015"Ever Closer Union" in the EU Treaties and Court of Justice case law
"Ever closer union" is an EU aim and is enshrined in the EU Treaties. David Cameron wanted to exempt the UK from it, and this has been achieved in the new settlement for the UK in the EU. This note looks at the background to 'ever closer union', its survival through several Treaty changes and its use by the EU Court of Justice.
29.10.2015European Union (Approvals) Bill 2015-16
This Bill fulfils a requirement of the European Union Act 2011 that EU legislative proposals based on the 'catch-all' Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union must be approved by an Act of Parliament before the UK can support their adoption in the EU Council. The Bill deals with two relatively uncontroversial proposals concerning the Republic of Macedonia becoming an observer on an EU human rights body and a draft decision on the Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment.
13.07.2015The 1974-75 UK Renegotiation of EEC Membership and Referendum
Why did the UK Government decide to renegotiate the UK's terms of EEC membership in 1974-75? What was the outcome of the negotiations and what did the Referendum Bill say? This briefing looks at the Labour Government's renegotiation and indicates where there are parallels with the present Government's renegotiation agenda.
18.06.2015The European Arrest Warrant
This note considers the European Arrest Warrant, including an overview of the benefits it brings and the criticisms it gives rise to. Parliament has made a number of recent changes to the regime aimed at addressing criticism, and subsequently voted in favour of the UK remaining within the European Arrest Warrant framework.
15.06.2015EU Treaty change: the parliamentary process of bills
How does Parliament deal with EU Treaty amendments? Is primary legislation needed to implement them? This briefing looks at the parliamentary process of bills linked to the ratification of EU Treaty amendments and compares the amount of time spent on the major EU Treaties since the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973.
20.03.2015Further proposals to restrict migrants' access to benefits
In his keynote speech on immigration on 28 November 2014, the Prime Minister set out plans to secure agreement on changes to European law on free movement of persons in order to allow the UK to, among other things, deny EEA migrants in-work benefits for four years and prevent Child Benefit being paid for children living abroad. Proposals to further restrict EEA migrants' access to benefits have also been put forward by Labour and by the Liberal Democrats.
16.03.2015Reforming the EU: UK plans, proposals and prospects
Prime Minister David Cameron would like to reform the EU and renegotiate the UK's relationship with it, before holding an in/out referendum in 2017 if a Conservative government is elected in May 2015. The UK's new relationship with the EU would be put to the electorate, who would decide whether the UK should remain in the EU under new terms or be the first Member State to leave the EU. This Note looks at what the Government is doing to tackle some of the perceived weaknesses of EU policy and procedures and looks at prospects for future reform.
31.01.2015EU obligations: UK implementing legislation since 1993
How much UK law implements EU obligations? This is virtually impossible to answer accurately, but approximate calculations can be made using law databases.
15.12.2014The UK in the European Union: in brief
What has happended in the European Economic Community since the UK joined in 1973?
09.12.2014Main Treaty amendments since the UK joined the EEC
Many argue that the EU is a far cry from what the UK signed up to in 1973. This note looks at the major Treaty changes since the UK joined the EEC in 1973.
27.11.2014Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill 2014-15
The Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill is a Private Members' Bill presented by Christopher Chope. The Bill makes provision 'to restrict the entitlement of non-UK Citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area to taxpayer-funded benefits.' The Bill provides that the restrictions on entitlement are 'notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972.'
10.11.2014The UK block opt-out in police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters: recent developments
The UK Government would like to opt back into 35 measures in the area of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, but will the other EU Member States agree unanimously on this? Will the Government manage to get approval for the draft regulations published on 6 November which complete the transposition of 11 of the 35 opt-back-ins?
22.10.2014Making EU law into UK law
EU law becomes part of UK law by means of primary or secondary legislation (Act of Parliament, Order or Statutory Instrument) or by administrative rules. This note looks at the procedures for transposing EU law in the UK.
15.10.2014European Union (Referendum) Bill
This Private Member's Bill was introduced to the Commons on 2 July 2014 and requires the holding of a referendum on the UK's continued membership of the European Union (EU) before the end of 2017. This Paper has been prepared as a guide in advance of the second reading on Friday 17 October.
11.09.2014EU Institutional Appointments in 2014
The EU has just appointed four new institutional leaders: the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This Note looks at the background to the four recent appointments.
24.06.2014A new Commission President in 2014
Will David Cameron succeed in blocking the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission President? Juncker has the support of most Member State governments but the UK Prime Minister thinks he is too integrationist and would not implement necessary reforms.
23.05.2014EU bibliographies: Food safety legislation: review package
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposals to strengthen and simplify health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain and their scrutiny in the UK and EU, published on 6 May 2013. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Emma Downing on extn 6787.
21.05.2014EU Bibliographies: Proposed reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy and its scrutiny in the UK and EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Emma Downing on extn 6787
21.05.2014EU bibliographies: Proposed reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposals to reform the Common Fisheries Policy and its scrutiny in the UK and EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Oliver Bennett on extn 2263.
29.04.2014The European Union: a democratic institution?
The paper acknowledges the EU's 'democratic deficit' and considers the causes of this. In the context of future EU Treaty reform, it considers possible remedies for the democratic deficit, including those proposed by the UK Government.
29.04.2014Democratic Legitimacy and the EU: reading list
Is the European Union democratic? There is a vast amount of academic literature and a range of political views on the subject of the EU's democratic legitimacy and how it might be improved.
26.03.2014Is adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights a condition of European Union membership?
This Note looks at what the EU Treaties say about adherence to human rights provisions and considers different views on the compatibility of withdrawal from the European Convention with continued EU membership.
20.03.2014EU bibliographies: posting of workers enforcement
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed 'posting of workers enforcement directive' and its scrutiny in the UK and EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Jacqueline Parker on extn 4317
17.01.2014The Commission Work Programme 2014
The European Commission's Work Programme for 2014 sets out four priority areas in which it intends to act: economic and monetary union, sustainable growth, justice and security and external action. The UK Government broadly supports the programme but has some specific concerns and reservations.
20.12.2013EU Enforcement of Free Movement of People Rules
What action has the EU taken to enforce freedom of movement throughout the EU?
11.12.2013Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
26.11.2013Effects of the EU Charter of Rights in the UK
Does the UK have an opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights via its Protocol? This Note presents views on the nature of the Protocol and what a 2011 ruling on the effects of the Protocl might mean with regard to the effects of the Charter in the UK.
25.11.2013Ending of transitional restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers
Romania and Bulgaria (the 'A2' states) joined the EU on 1 January 2007. Their EU accession treaty permitted other Member States to impose transitional restrictions on the free movement rights of Bulgarian and Romanian 'workers' for up to seven years after accession, in order to guard against disruption of their labour markets. All Member States must lift restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian workers by the end of 2013.
02.10.2013EU bibliographies: Financial services
This reference Note brings together Internet links to; relevant documents, UK and EU scrutiny and overviews of adopted EU legislation and draft EU legislation on financial services and markets.
15.07.2013In brief: the 2014 bloc opt-out and selective opt-back-ins
This note, prepared for the parliamentary debate on 15 July 2013, looks briefly at the current situation regarding the UK's 2014 decision on justice and home affairs measures and lists the 35 measures the Government would like to opt back into.
01.07.2013Leaving the EU
The Treaty on European Union provides for a Member State to leave the EU, either on the basis of a negotiated withdrawal agreement or without one. If the UK were to leave the EU following a referendum, it is likely that the Government would negotiate an agreement with the EU, which would probably contain transitional arrangements as well as provide for the UK's long-term future relations with the EU. There is no precedent for such an agreement, but it would in all likelihood come at the end of complex and lengthy negotiations.
21.06.2013The draft EU data protection framework
The UK's data protection law is based on a 1995 European Directive. The European Commission believes that the Directive is now out of date and has therefore proposed a comprehensive reform of the 1995 rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe's digital economy. Aspects of the reform are controversial and negotiations continue at European level to find agreement.
18.06.2013Syria: The legality of arming the rebels after the lifting of the EU arms embargo
Would arming the Syrian rebels be illegal, notwithstanding the lifting of the EU arms embargo?
07.06.2013Proposal to increase the number of EU Court of Justice Advocates-General
This Note looks at a draft Council decision to increase the number of Advocates-General at the EU Court of Justice in the context of reform of the EU Court of Justice.
26.03.2013Syria: The EU embargo and moves to arm the opposition
Both the UK and France have called for the rebel forces in Syria to be armed but there is an EU arms embargo on the country.
12.03.2013Cyprus property mis-selling disputes
Many British people have alleged that they were mis-sold property in Cyprus, and as a result cannot afford their mortgage payments, or are seeing their properties sold to pay off their developers' debts.
26.02.2013European Union (Approvals) Bill [HL] 2012-13: Committee Stage Report
The European Union (Approvals) Bill [HL] 2012-13 seeks to approve three EU draft decisions before the UK Government can approve their adoption in the EU Council.
31.01.2013European Union (Approvals) Bill
The European Union (Approvals) Bill (HC Bill 121) aims to approve two draft EU Council decisions and one draft decision of the European Council (the EU Heads of State and Government).
14.01.2013Norway's relationship with the EU
Norway is not part of the EU, and although it has adopted large amounts of EU legislation, it has little influence.
11.12.2012Recent EU Treaty Amendments and UK Ratification
This Note outlines the three Treaty amendments that have been adopted under amended Article 48 TEU since the Lisbon Treaty came into force and how these amendments have been ratified in the UK.
16.11.2012EU bibliographies: Proposed energy efficiency directive
13.11.2012Referendums on the European Union
This Note charts the referendums on EU matters held in candidate and Member States since 1972, with brief details on turnout and results.
01.11.2012European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Bill [Bill 76 of 2012-13]
Croatia is expected to join the EU in July 2013. This Bill would allow the UK to ratify Croatia's accession treaty and would also cover the Protocol to the Lisbon Treaty put forward by the Irish Government.
19.09.2012EU bibliographies: Consumer rights directive
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed "Consumer Rights Directive" and its scrutiny in the UK and EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Lorraine Conway on extn 5937. See also SN/HA/5097 Proposed Consumer Rights Directive
19.09.2012EU bibliographies: Animal Experiments Directive
This Note brings together documents relevant to the draft EU Directive replacing Directive Dir86/609/EEC on animal testing. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Elena Ares on extn 6348.
19.09.2012EU bibliographies: Directive on cross-border health care
This Note brings together documents relevant to the draft directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare (EC Draft 11307/2008).
30.08.2012European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill
This Bill enables the UK to ratify an amendment to Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
24.07.2012The UK and Europe: time for a new relationship?
This note looks at views on a referendum on the UK's EU membership, and government, parliamentary and public views on the UK's future relations with the EU.
16.07.2012Germany and the Euro Rescue Agreements
This Note looks at German political and public views of the euro rescue package, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and issues surrounding the ESM in Germany.
27.06.2012EU bibliographies: Defence equipment Directives
This note brings together documents relevant to legislation and the draft directives on EC defence equipment.
22.06.2012EU Bibliographies: Proceeds of crime
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed 'proceeds of crime Directive' and its scrutiny in the UK and EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on domestic policy developments contact Alexander Horne on extn 0251
25.05.2012Can Greece legally withdraw from the Euro?
This note looks at the Treaty base for EMU and some of the informal suggestions as to how Greece might legally leave the euro and/or the EU.
14.05.2012The Croatia Accession Bill: an introduction
Croatia is expected to join the EU in July 2013. A Croatia Accession Bill, announced in the Queen's Speech, would allow the UK to ratify Croatia's accession treaty. But issues around the judiciary, corruption and shipyards are not yet fully resolved.
10.05.2012How the UK Government deals with EU Business
This Note looks at UK Government and Civil Service structures and culture; what happens at the UK-EU interface, and methods for transposing EU law into UK law.
13.04.2012EU bibliographies: European External Action Service
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed legislation establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service and its scrutiny in the UK and the EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on the institutional issues or policy developments, contact Vaughne Miller on extn 4327 or Claire Taylor on extn 3852. See also SN/IA/5558 The European External Action Service
12.04.2012National Parliaments and EU law-making: how is the 'yellow card' system working?
This Note considers the background to the 'yellow card' subsidiarity early warning mechanism and its application in practice since the Lisbon Treaty came into force.
03.04.2012The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union: views in other EU Member States
This Note looks briefly at views on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union in the other EU Member States, the US, China and Russia.
30.03.2012In brief: provisions of the eurozone fiscal compact and economic issues
This note describes the 'fiscal compact' agreed by 25 EU Member States in March 2012 and associated economic issues.
27.03.2012The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union: political issues
This paper looks at the background to the TSCG, the reasons for the UK's non-participation and some of the issues it raises, such as its effectiveness, its relationship with the EU Treaties and EU law, the use of the EU institutions in a non-EU treaty, and whether it could give rise to a 'two-speed' Europe and further UK isolation in the EU.
20.03.2012The UK's 2014 Jurisdiction Decision in EU Police and Criminal Justice Proposals
In 2014 the UK Government must make a decision on whether to opt into the body of police and criminal justice measures in the former 'third pillar' of the EU Treaties that remain unamended since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force in December 2009.
15.02.2012In brief: Eurozone crisis documents
This note brings together in one place the key documents relating to the 'fiscal compact' for the eurozone agreed at the informal European Council of 30 January 2012.
07.12.2011Repatriating EU powers to Member States
The EU Treaties as amended by the Lisbon Treaty provides for the first time a Treaty base for the return, as well as the increase, of powers. Either would in all likelihood require a Treaty amendment.
02.12.2011EU bibliographies: Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) Directive
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed "Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive" (also known as the AIFM Directive or the "Hedge Funds" Directive), and its scrutiny in the UK and EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Tim Edmonds on extn 4318. See also SN/BT/5099 European responses to the financial crisis specifically p39
08.11.2011Scotland, independence and the EU
If Scotland became independent, would it automatically remain a member of the European Union (EU) - or would it have to go through the whole accession process for new Member States, either alone or alongside the rest of the UK?
20.10.2011Switzerland's relationship with the EU
Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it has chosen to cooperate with the EU in a number of areas of specific interest.
20.10.2011In brief: leaving the European Union
The Lisbon Treaty allows EU Member States to leave the European Union. However, the process, as yet untested, would in all likelihood not be straightforward and would involve negotiating a new relationship for the UK with the EU.
19.10.2011UK Government opt-in decisions in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
The creation of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice is based on the Tampere (1999-04), Hague (2004-09) and Stockholm (2010-14) programmes. It derives from the pre-Lisbon Title IV TEC (Visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons) and Title VI TEU (Provisions on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters) and is now Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the 'Area of freedom, security and justice' (AFSJ). The AFSJ therefore comprises policies relating to border controls, asylum and immigration; judicial cooperation in civil matters; judicial cooperation in criminal matters and police cooperation.
05.07.2011The European Union Bill 2010-11: Lords Committee and Report Stages
This Note looks at Lords amendments to the European Union Bill 2010-11 covering Committee and Report stages, and Third Reading.
24.05.2011Declaration 25 of the Treaty on European Union: Danish Territories and whaling
Denmark has invoked Declaration No. 25 TEU in support of the whaling activities of its territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Denmark's reliance on this Declaration at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has prevented the EU from presenting a more united stand on whaling issues at the IWC.
26.04.2011The EU's Acquis Communautaire
This Note looks at the term "Acquis Communautaire", what it means and how the European Court of Justice has interpreted it.
19.04.2011EU Legislation: Government action on 'gold-plating'
The Government aims to change the way in which EU law is transposed into national law in order to avoid 'gold-plating' and to minimise the burden of over-regulation on UK businesses. This Note looks at the main elements of the Government's principles for the implementation of EU law.
23.03.2011EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights
This Note looks at the background to and issues surrounding EU accession to the European Convention, UK Government views and Parliamentary scrutiny of the draft Council decision on the negotiation of an EU accession agreement.
16.03.2011European Union Bill 106 2010-11: Committee and Report stages
This Note looks at amendments adopted in the Committee of the Whole House concerning the European Union Bill 2010-11.
15.03.2011EU bibliographies: working time directives
The EC Working Time Directive (93/104/EC of 23 November 1993), was implemented in the UK by the Working Time Regulations 1998, SI No.1833 with effect from 1 October 1998. The Working Time Directive was subject to proposals for further amendment in Europe. The proposals were considered under the codecision procedure. The European Parliament and Council could not reach agreement on the draft directive, and no compromise could be reached in conciliation. The proposal now lapses and the current directive remains in force. This Note brings together documents relevant to legislation and draft directives on the application of Working Time rules.
08.02.2011Parliamentary scrutiny of treaties: up to 2010
Before 2010 the UK Parliament had no formal role in the ratification of treaties, which is a matter for the Government under the Royal Prerogative. There were however several ways in which treaties were scrutinised by Parliament before the Government ratified them, for example under the 'Ponsonby Rule'. There have been calls for Parliamentary scrutiny of treaties to be enhanced, including through creating a dedicated treaty scrutiny committee.
07.02.2011The Government's Policy on Europe
This Note looks at the Government's policy on Europe: first, at the election manifestos of the two parties, the Coalition Programme for Government and the Government's response since May 2010 to matters concerning the EU.
01.02.2011EU bibliographies: Food Supplements Directive
The EC Food Supplements Directive (2002/46/EC of 10 June 2002) was implemented in England by Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 SI 2003/1387, with effect from 1 August 2005. Equivalent Regulations implemented the Directive in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Draft legislation to amend this Directive is being prepared by the European Commission and is expected in 2009. This Note brings together documents relevant to UK legislation on the application of the EU Food Supplements Directive.
17.01.2011The European External Action Service
This Note looks at the European External Action Service established by the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009 and provides links to relevant documentation.
23.12.2010Amending the EU Treaty: the European Stability Mechanism
On 17 December 2010 the European Council agreed to establish a permanent financial crisis mechanism called the "European Stability Mechanism" (ESM) by means of an amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This Note looks at the likely ratification path in the UK of the proposed amendment to Article 136 TFEU, as set out in the draft European Council decision of 17 December 2010.
21.10.2010The EU Citizens' Initiative
This Note looks at the Commission proposal for implementing the Citizens' Initiative, the Council's response to it, the British Government's views and UK parliamentary scrutiny.
13.10.2010How much legislation comes from Europe?
This paper explores various approaches to the question of how much national law is based on or influenced by EU law.
27.07.2010Parliamentary scrutiny of opt-in decisions to the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
The UK has an opt-in arrangement to measures in the "Area of Freedom, Security and Justice", which concern mainly immigration and asylum, border control, judicial cooperation in civil law, policing and criminal law. This Note looks at parliamentary scrutiny of the opt-in arrangement.
24.03.2010EU Legislation
This Note considers the different types of EU legislative instruments and their implementation requirements. It also gives figures for EU laws adopted since 1980 and repealed since 1997, as well as an estimate of the proportion of UK secondary legislation made under the ECA to implement EU obligations.
11.03.2010Taking a complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union
This Note sets out how individuals who believe they are victims of a government's failure to respect an EU obligation, or that they have been negatively affected by an EU act or a failure to act, can seek judicial and non-judicial remedies.
02.03.2010EU bibliographies: Services Directive
This Note brings together documents relevant to the "Services Directive", its scrutiny in the UK and EU, and its implementation in the UK.
08.02.2010Implementing the Lisbon Treaty
This Note looks at how the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on 1 December 2009, is being implemented. It also considers how the UK might scrutinise the new procedures contained in the Treaty.
01.02.2010EU bibliographies: proposed equal treatment directive
Under its 'Renewed Social Agenda' the European Commission adopted on 2 July 2008 a non-discrimination package including a proposal for a new directive on equal treatment prohibiting discrimination on grounds of age, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief outside the employment sphere. This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed "Equal Treatment Directive" and its scrutiny in the UK and EU.
18.11.2009The Lisbon Treaty: choosing a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
This Note looks at the role of the new High Representative for EU foreign affairs and security policy, the method of appointment and possible candidates for the job. It does not consider the new European External Action Service.
12.11.2009The Lisbon Treaty: choosing a President of the European Council
Now that all 27 Member States have ratified the Lisbon Treaty, the Swedish EU Presidency is holding an extraordinary meeting on 19 November 2009 to decide on the post-holders for the three new top jobs created by the Treaty. This Note looks at one of these posts - that of President of the European Council.
09.11.2009The Lisbon Treaty: ratification by the Czech Republic
This Note looks at the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon by the Czech Republic.
08.10.2009The Treaty of Lisbon after the Second Irish Referdum
In a referendum on 2 October 2009 the Republic of Ireland voted by 67.1% to 32.9% in favour of ratifying the Treaty of Lisbon, having voted against its ratification in June 2008. Politically, the second vote was predicated on concessions agreed by the European Council in December 2008 and confirmed in June 2009 as 'guarantees' to be formalised in a protocol attached to the next accession treaty. The positive Irish vote was welcomed by the EU institutions and other Member States, but Poland and the Czech Republic still have not completed ratification. This paper looks at the background to the referendum and other ratification developments.
14.08.2009The Lisbon Treaty: ratification issues in Ireland, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic
This Note looks at ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. It updates Standard Note 4943, "The Lisbon Treaty: the final four", 20 January 2009, and SN 4921, "The Lisbon Treaty: the European Council and prospects for Irish ratification", 18 December 2008.
15.05.2009The Treaty of Lisbon: Government and Parliamentary views on a referendum
This Note looks at the present and past governments' views on holding referendums on the ratification of EC Treaties. It focuses in particular on the Treaty of Lisbon and the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe. It also looks at parliamentary debate and public opinion on the referendum issue
18.03.2009EU bibliographies: Timeshare Directives
This Note brings together documents relevant to UK legislation on the application of EU Timeshare Directives.
24.02.2009The UK Parliament and European Business: recent reforms and scrutiny issues
This Note looks at changes to EU scrutiny procedures in 2008 and 2009, as well as other scrutiny issues, such as the Government's use of the scrutiny override and Parliament's role in considering agreement on a "general approach" in the Council of Ministers.
11.02.2009EU bibliographies: posting of workers
This Note brings together documents relevant to the so-called 'Posted workers Directive', Council Directive 96/71/EC. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Jacqueline Parker on extn 4317. See also SN/BT/301 Posted Workers and SN/BT/4501 Government policy on "British jobs for British workers".
29.01.20092009 European Parliament Elections: parties, polls and recent developments
The European Parliament (EP) elections will be held in the UK on 4 June 2009, alongside local elections. This Note looks at the EC Treaty base for the elections, public views and voter turnout, and European political groups and parties.
20.01.2009The Lisbon Treaty: the final four
This Note looks at progress in the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon which was signed in December 2007. It updates Research paper 08/66, "The Treaty of Lisbon: an Uncertain Future" 30 July 2008, in this regard.
18.12.2008The Lisbon Treaty: the European Council and prospects for Irish ratification
This Note looks at the discussions in Ireland, the European Union Institutions and other Member States about the prospects for Irish ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. It considers the declarations on concessions agreed by the European Council on 11-12 December 2008 which are intended to facilitate Irish ratification in 2009.
20.11.2008Eurosceptic campaigns alleging the abolition of Westminster
This Note looks at a few eurosceptic campaigns alleging that the EU will remove England from the map of Europe and abolish the government and parliament at Westminster. It considers the EU instruments linked to such allegations.
15.01.2008European Union (Amendment) Bill [Bill 48 of 2007-08]
06.12.2007The Treaty of Lisbon: amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Community.
24.07.2007EU Reform: a new treaty or an old constitution?
02.12.2005The UK Parliament and European Business
03.02.2005European Union Bill (Bill 45 of 2004/05)
25.11.2004The treaty establishing a constitution for Europe - the Charter of Fundamental Rights
This Paper looks at Part II of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (the 'European Constitution'), which was agreed at the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on 18 June 2004 and published in its final, edited form on 13 October 2004.
21.10.2004The treaty establishing a constitution for Europe: part IV and protocols
The treaty establishing a constitution for Europe: part IV and protocols. House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/77.
08.10.2004The treaty establishing a constitution for Europe: part III
This Paper looks at Part III of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (the European Constitution), which was agreed at the Intergovernmental Conference on 18 June 2004 and published in edited form on 6 August 2004.
06.09.2004The Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe: part 1
The Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe: part 1. House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/66.
27.05.2004Proposals for a referendum on the new European constitution
This note examines the practical implications of the decision of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair to hold a referendum on the new EU constitution, if agreed at the European summit. UK wide referendums need primary legislation to set the terms of the question being asked, but the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 regulates the conduct of referendums, setting limits on expenditure.
10.05.2004IGC 2004: issues surrounding UK ratification of the European Constitution
IGC 2004: issues surrounding UK ratification of the European Constitution. By Vaughne Miller. SN/IA/3040.
16.04.2004The Human Rights Clause in the EUs External Agreements
The human rights clause in the EU's external agreements. House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/33.
07.07.2003A Draft Treaty Establishing a European Constitution
The draft treaty establishing a European constitution: technical and constitutional issues in Parts I and IV. House of Commons Library Research paper 03/60.
07.07.2003A Draft Treaty Establishing a European Constitution
A draft treaty establishing a European constitution: parts II and III. House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/58.
12.06.2003The Convention on the Future of Europe: institutional reform
The Convention on the Future of Europe: institutional reform. House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/56.
01.05.2001Treaty of Nice and the future of europe debate
The Treaty of Nice and the future of Europe debate. House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/49.
All Select Committee Reports
20 Select Committee Reports
DateDescription
13.07.2011Reasoned opinions on subsidiarity under the Lisbon Treaty.
Procedure Select Committee report [Commons]
08.03.2011Amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
01.02.2011Implementing the Stockholm Programme: home affairs.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
11.01.2011EU Strategy for economic growth and the UK National Reform Programme.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
10.01.2011The EU Bill and Parliamentary sovereignty.
Government response. European Scrutiny Committee; Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]
14.12.2010Annual report 2010.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
14.12.2010Government and Commission responses for session 2009-2010.
Government response. European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
06.12.2010The EU Bill and Parliamentary sovereignty.
European Scrutiny Committee report [Commons]
27.10.2010Justice issues in Europe.
Government response. Ministry of Justice; Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
06.04.2010Government and Commission Responses: Session 2008-09.
Government response. European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
23.03.2010Justice issues in Europe.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
02.03.2010Impact assessments in the EU: room for improvement.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
12.01.2010Correspondence with Ministers November 2007 to April 2008.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
03.11.2009Annual report 2009.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
03.11.2009Government and Commission responses for session 2007-08; remaining Government responses.
Government response. European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
21.07.2009Green paper on the Brussels I Regulation.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
07.07.2009Codecision and national parliamentary scrutiny.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
19.05.2009European contract law: the draft common frame of reference.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
19.05.2009Correspondence with Ministers May to October 2007.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
17.03.2009The United Kingdom opt-in: problems with amendment and codification.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]