EU Action: Parliamentary Scrutiny:Written question - HL1633

Asked on: 20 July 2015
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Action: Parliamentary Scrutiny
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, for each government department, from January to June 2015, (1) on how many occasions the scrutiny reserve resolution in the House of Lords was overridden, (2) on how many occasions the scrutiny reserve resolution in the House of Commons was overridden, (3) in respect of how many documents an override occurred in (a) both Houses or (b) either House.
Answered on: 29 July 2015

The Government strongly supports an effective Parliamentary scrutiny system and will always seek to avoid breaching the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution. Where this is not possible, the Government will continue to account for the circumstances of each override in writing to the Committees.

Between January to June 2015, 368 Explanatory Memoranda were submitted. Of the 90 overrides in this period, 73 (81 per cent) of overrides occurred after the dissolution of Parliament when one or both Houses were unable to carry out their scrutiny function. Of the 90 overrides across both Houses, 39 were on fast-moving EU restrictive measures including 11 measures to address the situation in Ukraine.


The figures requested are set out in the table below, which excludes reference to a Commission Communication on the Paris Protocol (‘A Blueprint for tackling Global Climate Change beyond 2020’) because discussion with the European Scrutiny Committee has not yet concluded whether this constitutes an override.

Department

(1). House of Lords Override

(2). House of Commons override

(a). No. of overrides in both Houses

(b). Total no. of overrides

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

46

47

42

51

HM Treasury

1

30

1

30

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

2

2

2

2

Ministry of Justice

3

3

3

3

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

1

1

1

1

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

0

1

0

1

Home Office

1

1

1

1

Department for Transport

0

1

0

1

Totals

54

86

50

90

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