Lords debates European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill: Committee day one

12 June 2012

The European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill begins committee stage, line by line scrutiny, in the House of Lords tomorrow (Wednesday 13 June).

The bill makes amendments to existing legislation to allow eurozone countries to set up a financial assistance mechanism. The proposed European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will mean that EU member states with the euro can support other eurozone members in financial difficulty. The ESM will replace the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill summary 

This bill makes provision for the purposes of section 3 of the European Union Act 2011 in relation to the European Council decision of 25 March 2011. It amends Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for member states whose currency is the Euro.

What is committee stage?

During committee stage, detailed line by line examination of separate clauses and schedules of the bill takes place. Any member of the Lords can take part. It can last from one or two days to eight or more. This stage usually starts no fewer than two weeks after the second reading.

Amendments can allow the House of Lords to make revisions to government bills (draft laws). Members of the Lords, often with specialist knowledge or experience of the subject, can submit amendments to explore possible effects of the planned law and the policy that lies behind it.

The day before committee stage starts, amendments (proposals for change) are published in order in a marshalled list. Amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a 'groupings of amendments' is published on the day. Lords must agree to every clause of the bill and vote on the amendments. All proposed amendments can be discussed and there is no time limit for discussion.

After the committee stage, the bill is reprinted with all the agreed amendments and is moved to report stage for further examination.

Further information

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