This is a short Bill. As I explained on Second Reading, the purpose of the Bill is to approve four draft decisions of the Council of the European Union. All four draft decisions rely on article 352 of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union, and therefore require the approval of Parliament. Section 8 of the European Union Act 2011 provides for exemptions in order to avoid the requirement for an Act of Parliament, but the decisions with which we are dealing do not fall within any of the exempt purposes.
The first two decisions will enable two countries, the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Serbia, to be granted observer status in the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency. The third and fourth decisions are necessary to implement a co-operation agreement between the EU and Canada on competition enforcement. Clause 1 provides for approval by Parliament of those four draft EU legislative decisions. Clause 2 concerns the territorial extent of the Bill, its commencement date and short title. Subsection (1) provides that the Bill extends to the whole United Kingdom, subsection (2) provides that the Bill will come into force on the day it receives Royal Assent and subsection (3) provides for the Bill’s short title.
We are content that all four decisions are reasonable and proportionate, and that they will not result in any additional financial burdens on the UK. I urge hon. Members to agree to clauses 1 and 2 standing part of the Bill.