House of Lords work on the European Union

25 April 2016

On 23 June 2016 there will be a vote on the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU).

The Lords regularly examines the work and role of the EU, substantially through its EU Committee but also through  questions and debates in the chamber. The House of Lords Library produces resources, including briefings on EU topics.

European Union Committee

The European Union Committee checks draft EU laws and looks at wider issues related to the EU. It’s the largest Lords committee with 19 members and it's the busiest: it has six subject-focused sub-committees to help the main committee carry out its work.

The committee reports on a wide range of issues that affect everyday life and the long-term future of the UK and Europe.

Questions and statements in the chamber

Lords questions take place at the start of business from Monday to Thursday, they are directed at the government and members regularly ask questions regarding its policy and action relating to the EU.

Statements are made following EU summits and meetings and are an opportunity for the government to give information to the House and another chance for members to raise concerns and seek information.


During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government's attention to concerns. Debates on matters relating to the EU are frequent and on 2 March 2016 members debated the UK’s EU membership.

Members of the House of Lords

Members come from different backgrounds and professions and many remain active in their careers and are experts in their fields. Membership includes people who with experience of working at EU level, as diplomats and MEPs, and legal and academic experts who have focussed on EU matters.

Lords Library briefings

The House of Lords Library regularly produces in-depth guides on a range of topics, including the following EU-related briefings:

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