EU law and treaties

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  • This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on European Union law and treaties. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

    Commons Briefing Papers

    14.11.2016Brexit and the EU Court
    The High Court has appealed to the Supreme Court for a decision on whether the Government can start the Brexit process by triggering Article 50 TEU using Prerogative powers. Some press reports said the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) would have the last word on this. But can the CJEU rule on matters of UK constitutional Law? Many experts believe that the question central to the case, but not ruled on by the High Court, was whether Article 50 can be withdrawn. If it can be revoked, then the argument that Article 50 notice leads inevitably to a loss of rights under the European Communities Act 1972 might not hold. This paper looks at the questions of revocability and referral to the EU Court.
    11.11.2016Brexit reading list: legal and constitutional issues
    The Commons Library has compiled, from a wide range of sources, a selection of analysis and comment relevant to the UK's forthcoming withdrawal from the European Union.
    11.11.2016Brexit: the Brussels IIa regulation - cross-border child contact cases, and child abduction
    This note considers the effect of Brexit on the UK in terms of the Brussels IIa regulation concerning cross-border child contact cases, and international child abduction within the EU.
    10.11.2016Brexit: employment law
    This short note discusses the interaction between UK and EU employment law; the potential consequences of Brexit; and the Government's position on the issue.
    09.11.2016Brexit: some legal, constitutional and financial unknowns
    This Commons Library briefing looks at some of the basic 'unknowns' relating to Brexit. The unknowns cover areas such as a role for the UK Parliament and the devolved legislatures in the Brexit process, relations with the EU institutions, the economic impact on the UK, and changes to citizens' rights.
    01.11.2016Brexit and financial services
    This Commons Library briefing paper brings together responses from financial organisations about the impact of the vote to leave the EU,. The vote to leave the EU has significant implications for the financial services sector, an economic sector which is critical to the UK economy. The degree of inter-linkage between the 'City' and the EU economies is substantial economically speaking and intricate in terms of the legislative interface.
    04.10.2016International Child Abduction
    This note sets out in summary the legal remedies to return a child following international child abduction, and also the permitted exceptions. Those affected by international child abduction should seek appropriate legal advice, and also contact Reunite International.
    08.09.2016Brexit: trade aspects
    This note looks at possible options for the UK's trading relationship with the EU, post-Brexit.
    26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
    This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
    02.08.2016Brexit and UK immigration and asylum policy: a reading list
    This reading list collates some recent commentary on the implications of the EU referendum vote for future UK immigration and asylum policy, and links to some related Library briefings.

    Lords Library Notes

    13.10.2016Leaving the European Union: Foreign and Security Policy Cooperation
    On 20 October 2016, the House of Lords will debate the implications of the EU referendum for foreign and security policy cooperation with European countries. Theresa May and members of her Cabinet have stated that they intend for the UK to continue to cooperate closely with EU partners on areas such as security, defence, law enforcement and counter-terrorism after leaving the EU, although it is not yet clear exactly what form such cooperation may take.
    13.10.2016Leaving the European Union: Environment and Climate Change
    On 20 October 2016, the House of Lords will debate the future of environmental and climate change policy in the light of the EU referendum. This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of a selection of European legislation which relates to the environment and climate change, and outlines how it has been implemented in the UK. The briefing also briefly discusses the EU's international commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This briefing does not provide an analysis of the potential impacts of the UK leaving the EU. However, it does include a selection of recent statements made by the Government on these issues.
    04.07.2016Leaving the EU: Parliament's Role in the Process
    Following the result of the referendum held on 23 June 2016, this House of Lords Library briefing examines what Parliament's role would be in the process of withdrawing from the European Union in several key areas: invoking Article 50; overseeing the negotiation process; ratifying agreements; repealing and reviewing domestic legislation. This is an updated version of the briefing issued on 30 June 2016.
    12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
    The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
    15.03.2016European Union: Prime Ministers' Speeches and Party Manifestos since 1970
    This House of Lords Library briefing outlines some of the key statements on Europe made by Prime Ministers since 1970 and reproduces the manifesto commitments made at general elections by each party over the same period.
    07.03.2016Schengen Agreement: A Short History
    This House of Lords Library briefing sets out a short history of the Schengen Agreement and provides a timeline for major events in its development. It also provides further information on recent developments, including the temporary reintroduction of border controls by member states in response to recent increases in refugees and migrants from outside of the Schengen Area and in response to the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015.


    15.07.2014Big Data and Business
    POSTnote exploring how big data is being used by UK companies and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
    Bioenergy is the use of renewable natural material for power, heat and liquid fuels. Currently, the UK sources approximately 3% of its primary energy from bioenergy feedstocks. This POSTnote considers the opportunities and challenges of producing bioenergy sustainably to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.
    01.07.2009Environmental noise, July 2009
    This POSTnote examines the effects of noise, the EU Environmental Noise Directive (END) and practical measures for noise management.
    01.06.2009Crop protection, June 2009
    The pesticide approvals process in Europe is changing. This POSTnote explores the potential implications for UK agriculture and horticulture and examines other crop protection strategies available that complement or compensate for pesticides.

    Select Committee Reports

    13.07.2011Reasoned opinions on subsidiarity under the Lisbon Treaty.
    Procedure Select Committee report [Commons]
    08.03.2011Amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
    European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
    01.02.2011Implementing the Stockholm Programme: home affairs.
    European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
    11.01.2011EU Strategy for economic growth and the UK National Reform Programme.
    European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
    10.01.2011The EU Bill and Parliamentary sovereignty.
    Government response. European Scrutiny Committee; Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]

    Early Day Motions

    That this House calls on the Government to give the British people a referendum on UK membership of the EU.
    That this House notes the proposals floated by Germany and France to re-open the Lisbon Treaty in order to force Member States that find themselves in a severe financial crisis, as ...
    That this House notes that the UK natural health products industry currently faces a grave threat both to its businesses and consumer choices from the unforeseen impact of implementation ...
    That this House is concerned at the delay by the Government in depositing relevant papers with the European Scrutiny Committee; believes that following the entry into force of the Lisbon ...
    That this House notes with concern that Article 69E, Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters, of the Treaty of Lisbon provides for the creation of a European Public Prosecutor's Office ...

    Feature publication

    The page highlights the analysis and comment on Brexit: the next steps and presents an impartial view of the different arguments and opinions.


    • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
    • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
    • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses

    UK Parliament committee