EU Action: Parliamentary Scrutiny:Written question - HL6012

Asked on: 13 March 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
EU Action: Parliamentary Scrutiny
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, for each Government department, from July to December 2016, on how many occasions a scrutiny reserve resolution in (1) the House of Lords, and (2) the House of Commons, was overridden; and in respect of how many documents an override occurred in (a) both Houses, or (b) either House.
A
Answered on: 27 March 2017

Between July and December 2016, 557 Explanatory Memoranda on EU documents were submitted for scrutiny.

Across both Houses there were 33 occasions when the Government supported decisions in the EU Council of Ministers before the scrutiny procedures had been completed by either one or both Scrutiny Committees.

In each case the Government explained to the Scrutiny Committees why it was important for the proposal to be supported before clearance had been provided. As with previous six-monthly periods, the largest category of instrument were fast-moving and sensitive EU restrictive measures where there were 22 such instruments (67% of the total number) adopted before scrutiny could be completed.

The figures requested are set out below:

Department

(1). House of Lords Override

(2). House of Commons override

(1). No. of overrides in both Houses

(2). Total no. of overrides

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

0

1

0

1

Culture, Media and Sport

1

2

1

2

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1

2

1

2

Foreign and Commonwealth Office*

22

26*

22

26

HM Treasury**

1

1

1

1

International Trade

0

1

0

1

Totals

25

33

25

33

* In addition to the formal overrides listed here, there were 40 occasions when Council Decisions were adopted prior to scrutiny by the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee due to their limite marking (ie internal EU limited distribution marking for content not intended to be in the public domain).

** An override on the Proposal for a Council Directive laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market, was identified to have occurred at the 27 June 2016 ECOFIN, after the answer had been published for the override figures for January-June 2016 (HL 1405).

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