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Lords Committee inquiry to investigate Government's vision for the EU

The UK Government's vision for the future of the EU is to be explored by a Lords Committee in a new inquiry.

As the Government seeks to re-shape the EU through its reform negotiations, the House of Lords EU Committee will assess the Prime Minister's long-term vision, and will explore how far other stakeholders, within the UK and across the EU, share similar goals.

The inquiry will look at the concept of “ever closer union”, exploring the tensions between the EU's political and economic aims. The Committee will look beyond the referendum, asking whether there is any emerging consensus, within the UK and across the 28 member states, on the long-term direction of the EU.

The inquiry will start with an evidence session in the Welsh Assembly, next Monday 19 October, to hear the views of the First Minster of Wales, expert academics and the Welsh Assembly Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee.

Lord Boswell of Aynho, Chair of the Lords EU Select Committee, said:

“With all eyes on the referendum, it's important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. The EU has faced a series of crises, and there is general agreement on the need for reform. But what kind of reform? What sort of place will the EU be in 10 or 20 years?

Our inquiry will consider different visions of the EU. We will ask in particular whether the Prime Minister's vision for the Union commands support, both at home and abroad, and whether it could be a basis for lasting consensus on reform.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, it will have a profound and lasting effect on this country and on the EU as a whole. It's vital we put the issues into context, so that people can have an informed debate. I hope this inquiry will be a valuable contribution to that debate.”

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