LORDS

Lords to question BIS Minister on scrutiny override and failure to reply to their letter

15 October 2014

Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), will face questions from the House of Lords Justice, Institutions and Consumer Protection EU Sub-Committee, about the Government’s decision to override Parliamentary scrutiny, as well as its failure to reply to a letter from the Committee. 

Witnesses

Wednesday 15 October, Committee Room 1, House of Lords

At 4pm

  • Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs
  • Dean Beale, Head of the Policy at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Background

In an unusual step, and following the Government’s improvement in adhering to the rules on the scrutiny of EU proposals by the House of Lords, the Committee has called the Minister to appear before it tomorrow.

According to the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution, the Government has undertaken not to agree to any EU proposal until the Committee has completed its consideration, or "cleared it from scrutiny". In this instance, the Government not only overrode the policy, but also failed to reply to a letter written by the Committee.

The Committee wrote to the Government in June 2013, asking for further information on the negotiations on the proposed basic framework for dealing with cross-border insolvencies in the European Union. When the Department finally did respond, a year later, it failed to even refer to the Committee’s letter, let alone address the concerns it had raised.

The Minister will be asked about this failure to respond to the correspondence, the override of the Parliamentary scrutiny reserve and what steps the Department will take in order to improve its performance in the future.

Further information 

Image: Press Association

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