Inquiries Act 2005 Committee — Membership Motions

– in the House of Lords at 11:36 am on 16th May 2013.

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Moved by The Chairman of Committees

Deputy Chairmen of Committees

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed as the panel of members to act as Deputy Chairmen of Committees for this session:

B Andrews, B Anelay of St Johns, L Bassam of Brighton, L Bates, L Bichard, L Brougham and Vaux, L Colwyn, L Faulkner of Worcester, B Fookes, L Geddes, B Gibson of Market Rasen, B Harris of Richmond, L Haskel, B Hooper, B McIntosh of Hudnall, B Morris of Bolton, B Pitkeathley, V Simon, L Skelmersdale, V Ullswater.

Administration and Works

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider administrative services, accommodation and works, including works relating to security, within the strategic framework and financial limits approved by the House Committee;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members together with the Chairman of Committees be appointed to the Committee:

B Anelay of St Johns, L Brougham and Vaux, L Cameron of Dillington, Bp Chester, L Faulkner of Worcester, L Laming, L McAvoy, B McIntosh of Hudnall, L Mancroft, L Newby, L Roper, L Rowe-Beddoe;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time.

Communications

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider the media and the creative industries and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

B Bakewell, L Bragg, L Clement-Jones, B Deech, L Dubs, B Fookes, B Healy of Primrose Hill, L Inglewood (Chairman), Bp Norwich, L Razzall, L St John of Bletso, E Selborne, L Skelmersdale;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Consolidation etc. Bills

In accordance with Standing Order 51, that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords be appointed to join with a Committee of the Commons as the Joint Committee on Consolidation etc. Bills:

L Campbell of Alloway, L Carswell (Chairman), L Christopher, E Dundee, L Eames, L Janner of Braunstone, B Mallalieu, L Methuen, L Razzall, L Swinfen, L Tombs;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records.

Constitution

That a Select Committee be appointed to examine the constitutional implications of all public bills coming before the House; and to keep under review the operation of the constitution;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Crickhowell, L Cullen of Whitekirk. B Falkner of Margravine. L Goldsmith, L Hart of Chilton, L Irvine of Lairg, B Jay of Paddington (Chairman), L Lang of Monkton, L Lexden, L Macdonald of River Glaven, L Powell of Bayswater, B Wheatcroft;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform

That a Select Committee be appointed:

(i) To report whether the provisions of any bill inappropriately delegate legislative power, or whether they subject the exercise of legislative power to an inappropriate degree of parliamentary scrutiny;

(ii) To report on documents and draft orders laid before Parliament under or by virtue of:

(a) sections 14 and 18 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006,

(b) section 7(2) or section 19 of the Localism Act 2011, or

(c) section 5E(2) of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004;

and to perform, in respect of such draft orders, and in respect of subordinate provisions orders made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001, the functions performed in respect of other instruments and draft instruments by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments; and

(iii) To report on documents and draft orders laid before Parliament under or by virtue of:

(a) section 85 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998,

(b) section 17 of the Local Government Act 1999,

(c) section 9 of the Local Government Act 2000,

(d) section 98 of the Local Government Act 2003, or

(e) section 102 of the Local Transport Act 2008.

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

B Andrews, B Fookes, B Gardner of Parkes, L Haskel, C Mar, L Marks of Henley-on-Thames, L Mayhew of Twysden, B O’Loan, B Thomas of Winchester (Chairman);

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Economic Affairs

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider economic affairs and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

B Blackstone, L Griffiths of Fforestfach, L Hollick, L Lawson of Blaby, L Lipsey, L McFall of Alcluith, L MacGregor of Pulham Market (Chairman), L May of Oxford, B Noakes, L Rowe-Beddoe, L Shipley, L Skidelsky, L Smith of Clifton;

That the Committee have power to appoint a sub-committee and to refer to it any of the matters within the Committee’s terms of reference; that the Committee have power to appoint the Chairman of the sub-committee;

That the Committee have power to co-opt any member to serve on the sub-committee;

That the Committee and its sub-committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee and its sub-committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee and its sub-committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the evidence taken by the Committee or its sub-committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

European Union

That a Select Committee be appointed:

(1) To consider European Union documents deposited in the House by a Minister, and other matters relating to the European Union;

The expression “European Union document” includes in particular:

(a) a document submitted by an institution of the European Union to another institution and put by either into the public domain;

(b) a draft legislative act or a proposal for amendment of such an act; and

(c) a draft decision relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union under Title V of the Treaty on European Union;

The Committee may waive the requirement to deposit a document, or class of documents, by agreement with the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons;

(2) To assist the House in relation to the procedure for the submission of Reasoned Opinions under Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union and the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

(3) To represent the House as appropriate in interparliamentary cooperation within the European Union;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Boswell of Aynho (Chairman), L Bowness, L Cameron of Dillington, L Carter of Coles, B Corston, L Dear, B Eccles of Moulton, L Foulkes of Cumnock, L Hannay of Chiswick, L Harrison, L Maclennan of Rogart, L Marlesford, B O’Cathain, B Parminter, E Sandwich, B Scott of Needham Market, L Tomlinson, L Tugendhat, B Young of Hornsey;

That the Committee have power to appoint sub-committees and to refer to them any matters within its terms of reference; that the Committee have power to appoint the Chairmen of sub-committees, but that the sub-committees have power to appoint their own Chairmen for the purpose of particular inquiries; that the quorum of each sub-committee be two;

That the Committee have power to co-opt any member to serve on a sub-committee;

That the Committee and its sub-committees have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee and its sub-committees have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee or its sub-committees in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee or its sub-committees;

That the evidence taken by the Committee or its sub-committees shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

House Committee

That a Select Committee be appointed to set the policy framework for the administration of the House and to provide non-executive guidance to the Management Board; to approve the House’s strategic, business and financial plans; to agree the annual Estimates and Supplementary Estimates; to supervise the arrangements relating to financial support for Members; and to approve the House of Lords Annual Report;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Alderdice, L Campbell-Savours, L Cope of Berkeley, B D’Souza (Chairman), L Hill of Oareford, L Laming, B McDonagh, L McNally, B Royall of Blaisdon, L Sewel, L Stirrup, L True;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House.

Human Rights

That a Select Committee of six members be appointed to join with a Committee appointed by the Commons as the Joint Committee on Human Rights:

To consider:

(a) matters relating to human rights in the United Kingdom (but excluding consideration of individual cases);

(b) proposals for remedial orders, draft remedial orders and remedial orders made under section 10 of and laid under Schedule 2 to the Human Rights Act 1998; and

(c) in respect of draft remedial orders and remedial orders, whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to them on any of the grounds specified in Standing Order 73 (Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments);

To report to the House:

(a) in relation to any document containing proposals laid before the House under paragraph 3 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or

(b) in relation to any draft order laid under paragraph 2 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether the draft Order should be approved;

and to have power to report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said proposals or draft orders; and

To report to the House in respect of any original order laid under paragraph 4 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether:

(a) the order should be approved in the form in which it was originally laid before Parliament; or

(b) the order should be replaced by a new order modifying the provisions of the original order; or

(c) the order should not be approved;

and to have power to report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said order or any replacement order;

That the following members be appointed to the Committee:

B Berridge, L Faulks, B Kennedy of The Shaws, L Lester of Herne Hill, B Lister of Burtersett, B O’Loan;

That the Committee have power to agree with the Committee appointed by the Commons in the appointment of a Chairman;

That the quorum of the Committee shall be two;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Hybrid Instruments

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider hybrid instruments and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members together with the Chairman of Committees be appointed to the Committee:

L Addington, L Campbell of Alloway, L Grantchester, L Harrison, L Luke, L Quirk, L Swinfen;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records.

That the reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee; and

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Information

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider information and communications services, including the Library and the Parliamentary Archives, within the strategic framework and financial limits approved by the House Committee;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Aberdare, L Best, L Black of Brentwood, L Haskel, L Kirkwood of Kirkhope (Chairman), L Lipsey, E Lytton, B Massey of Darwen, L Maxton, B Rawlings, L Rennard, B Seccombe, B Stedman-Scott;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time.

Liaison

That a Select Committee be appointed to advise the House on the resources required for select committee work and to allocate resources between select committees; to review the select committee work of the House; to consider requests for ad hoc committees and report to the House with recommendations; to ensure effective co-ordination between the two Houses; and to consider the availability of members to serve on committees;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members together with the Chairman of Committees be appointed to the Committee:

L Alderdice, B Browning, L Campbell-Savours, B Corston, L Craig of Radley, L Hill of Oareford, L Laming, L McNally, B Royall of Blaisdon, V Ullswater;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time.

National Security Strategy

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords be appointed to join with a Committee of the Commons as the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, to consider the National Security Strategy:

L Fellowes, L Foulkes of Cumnock, L Harris of Haringey, L Lee of Trafford, B Manningham-Buller, B Neville-Jones, B Ramsay of Cartvale, L Sterling of Plaistow, B Taylor of Bolton, L Waldegrave of North Hill;

That the Committee have power to agree with the Committee appointed by the Commons in the appointment of a Chairman;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place in the United Kingdom;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords be appointed to the Board of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST):

L Haskel, L Krebs, L Oxburgh, L Winston.

Privileges and Conduct

That a Select Committee be appointed and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members together with the Chairman of Committees be appointed to the Committee:

B Anelay of St Johns, L Bassam of Brighton, L Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L Eames, L Hill of Oareford, L Howe of Aberavon, L Irvine of Lairg, L Laming, L Mackay of Clashfern, L McNally, B Manningham-Buller, L Newby, B Royall of Blaisdon, B Scotland of Asthal, L Scott of Foscote;

That the Committee have power to appoint sub-committees and that the Committee have power to appoint the Chairmen of sub-committees;

That the Committee have power to co-opt any member to serve on a sub-committee;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That in any claim of peerage, the Committee shall sit with three holders of high judicial office, who shall have the same speaking and voting rights as members of the Committee;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee or its sub-committees in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee or its sub-committees;

That the evidence taken by the Committee or its sub-committees shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Procedure of the House

That a Select Committee on Procedure of the House be appointed and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members together with the Chairman of Committees be appointed to the Committee:

B Anelay of St Johns, L Bassam of Brighton, L Blencathra, L Butler of Brockwell, L Campbell-Savours, B D’Souza, L Filkin, L Hill of Oareford, B Hollis of Heigham, L Laming, L McNally, L Newby, L Patel, L Roper, B Royall of Blaisdon, B Thomas of Winchester, V Ullswater, L Wakeham;

That the following members be appointed as alternate members:

V Craigavon, B Hamwee, V Montgomery of Alamein, L True;

That the Committee have power to appoint sub-committees and that the Committee have power to appoint the Chairmen of sub-committees;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time.

Refreshment

That a Select Committee be appointed to advise on the refreshment services provided for the House, within the strategic framework and financial limits approved by the House Committee;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members together with the Chairman of Committees be appointed to the Committee:

L Colwyn, B Doocey, B Gale, B Gould of Potternewton, B Henig, L Howard of Rising, B Jenkin of Kennington, L Kennedy of Southwark, L Mawson, L Newby, L Palmer of Childs Hill, L Skidelsky;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time.

Science and Technology

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider science and technology and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Dixon-Smith, B Hilton of Eggardon, L Krebs (Chairman), B Manningham-Buller, L O’Neill of Clackmannan, L Patel, B Perry of Southwark, L Peston, L Rees of Ludlow, E Selborne, B Sharp of Guildford, L Wade of Chorlton, L Willis of Knaresborough, L Winston;

That the Committee have power to appoint sub-committees and that the Committee have power to appoint the Chairmen of sub-committees;

That the Committee have power to co-opt any member to serve on the Committee or a sub-committee;

That the Committee and its sub-committees have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee and its sub-committees have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee and its sub-committees have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee or its sub-committees in the last session of Parliament be referred to the Committee or its sub-committees;

That the evidence taken by the Committee or its sub-committees shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Secondary Legislation Scrutiny

That a Select Committee be appointed to scrutinise secondary legislation.

(1) The Committee shall, with the exception of those instruments in paragraphs (3) and (4), scrutinise-

(a) every instrument (whether or not a statutory instrument), or draft of an instrument, which is laid before each House of Parliament and upon which proceedings may be, or might have been, taken in either House of Parliament under an Act of Parliament;

(b) every proposal which is in the form of a draft of such an instrument and is laid before each House of Parliament under an Act of Parliament,

with a view to determining whether or not the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the grounds specified in paragraph (2).

(2) The grounds on which an instrument, draft or proposal may be drawn to the special attention of the House are-

(a) that it is politically or legally important or gives rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House;

(b) that it may be inappropriate in view of changed circumstances since the enactment of the parent Act;

(c) that it may inappropriately implement European Union legislation;

(d) that it may imperfectly achieve its policy objectives.

(3) The exceptions are—

(a) remedial orders, and draft remedial orders, under section 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998;

(b) draft orders under sections 14 and 18 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, and subordinate provisions orders made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001;

(c) Measures under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and instruments made, and drafts of instruments to be made, under them.

(4) The Committee shall report on draft orders and documents laid before Parliament under section 11(1) of the Public Bodies Act 2011 in accordance with the procedures set out in sections 11(5) and (6). The Committee may also consider and report on any material changes in a draft order laid under section 11(8) of the Act.

(5) The Committee shall also consider such other general matters relating to the effective scrutiny of secondary legislation and arising from the performance of its functions under paragraphs (1) to (4) as the Committee considers appropriate, except matters within the orders of reference of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Bichard, L Blackwell, L Eames, L Goodlad (Chairman), B Hamwee, L Methuen, B Morris of Yardley, L Norton of Louth, L Plant of Highfield, L Scott of Foscote, L Woolmer of Leeds;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published.

Standing Orders (Private Bills)

That a Select Committee on the Standing Orders relating to private bills be appointed and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members together with the Chairman of Committees be appointed to the Committee:

L Geddes, B Gould of Potternewton, L Luke, L Naseby, L Palmer, L Rodgers of Quarry Bank, V Simon;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records.

That the reports of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House.

Statutory Instruments

In accordance with Standing Order 73 and the resolution of the House of 16 December 1997, that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to join with a Committee of the Commons as the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments:

L Avebury, L Kennedy of Southwark, L Lyell, L Selkirk of Douglas, B Stern, L Walpole;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records.

Works of Art

That a Select Committee be appointed to administer the House of Lords Works of Art Collection Fund; and to consider matters relating to works of art and the artistic heritage in the House of Lords, within the strategic framework and financial limits approved by the House Committee;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Cormack, L Crathorne, B Gale, L Harries of Pentregarth, B Howells of St Davids, L Luke (Chairman), B Maddock, B Rendell of Babergh, L Roberts of Llandudno, E Shrewsbury, L Stevenson of Coddenham, B Valentine;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time.

Soft Power

That a Select Committee be appointed to examine the use of soft power in furthering the United Kingdom’s global influence and interests, and to make recommendations, and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

B Armstrong of Hill Top, L Forsyth of Drumlean, L Foulkes of Cumnock, B Goudie, L Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L Howell of Guildford (Chairman), B Hussein-Ece, L Janvrin, B Morris of Bolton, Nicholson of Winterbourne, B Prosser, L Ramsbotham;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published;

That the Committee do report by 14 March 2014;

That the Report of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House.

Olympic and Paralympic Legacy

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider the strategic issues for regeneration and sporting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and to make recommendations, and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Addington, E Arran, L Bates, L Best, B Billingham, B Doocey, L Faulkner of Worcester, L Harris of Haringey (Chairman), B King of Bow, L Moynihan, B Wheatcroft, L Wigley;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published;

That the Committee do report by 15 November 2013;

That the Report of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider and report on the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

L Alderdice, B Andrews, B Barker, B Browning, L Faulks, L Hardie (Chairman), B Hollins, B McIntosh of Hudnall, L Patel of Bradford, B Shephard of Northwold, L Swinfen, L Turnberg;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published;

That the Committee do report by 28 February 2014;

That the Report of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House.

Inquiries Act 2005

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider and report on the law and practice relating to inquiries into matters of public concern, in particular the Inquiries Act 2005, and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:

B Buscombe, L Clinton-Davis, B Gould of Potternewton, B Hamwee, L King of Bridgwater, L Morris of Aberavon, L Richard, L Shutt of Greetland (Chairman), B Stern, L Trefgarne, L Trimble, L Woolf;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;

That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom;

That the evidence taken by the Committee shall, if the Committee so wishes, be published;

That the Committee do report by 28 February 2014;

That the Report of the Committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House.

Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP

My Lords, I rise again to query the usefulness of our proposed European Union Committee, and especially of its six sub-committees. I do so against the background of our Liaison Committee’s recent review of our committee structure, which was debated in your Lordships’ House on 21 March. This revealed that there were requests for no fewer than 28 ad hoc committees from your Lordships, of which only five could be accommodated. We could not even find the resources for a foreign affairs committee, which was widely supported, nor for a committee on preventing religiously based gender discrimination in arbitration and mediation services, which was supported in writing by 70 Peers.

I will very briefly repeat the case against this committee. First, its composition remains heavily, if not uniformly, Europhile, as it has been for the past 20 years, and therefore does nothing to reflect the growing Euroscepticism of the British people. Secondly, its findings are almost entirely ignored by Brussels, which routinely overrides our scrutiny reserve. That is the agreement whereby successive Governments have promised they will not sign up to any new EU law in Brussels if it is still being examined by the Select Committee of either House of Parliament.

Between January 2010 and June 2012 the scrutiny reserve was overridden 212 times in the House of Commons and 191 times in your Lordships’ House. Furthermore, the new “yellow card” system, whereby Brussels has to reconsider one of its new laws if eight national Parliaments object to it, is proving to be just as fraudulent as subsidiarity, as some of us forecast. If the Chairman of Committees does not agree with me, can he say what has happened to the proposals by Brussels for gender equality on company boards? Indeed, can he tell your Lordships of any new Brussels law that has been avoided by a yellow card?

I am aware that noble and Europhile Lords will claim that our reports are taken very seriously in Brussels and that Eurocrats can be seen reverently devouring our reports as they go about their unhelpful business, but the Government can point to hardly a single worthwhile case where our recommendations have been passed into European law—witness their Written Answer to me on 10 April. We are told that our committee has inspired the long-overdue reform of the criminal common fisheries policy, but if you put your ear to the ground in Brussels, you learn that this was inspired more by Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall’s television exposé than anything that our committee may have said. In passing, the answer is not to reform the CFP but simply to leave it and reclaim our great fishing industry.

Be all that as it may—and it is—I have to ask why we have seven EU sub-committees when so many subjects go uncovered by your Lordships’ acknowledged wisdom. Your Lordships’ committee reports on every other subject are respected by our media and of value to our people. I have to ask why we do not redistribute the resources of the six EU sub-committees and place them at the disposal of new ad hoc committees, for which there is a genuine need. I look forward to the noble Lord’s reply.

Photo of Lord Sewel Lord Sewel Chair, Administration and Works Committee (Lords), Chair, Freedom of Information Advisory Panel (Lords), Chair, Hybrid Instruments Committee (Lords), Chair, Liaison Committee (Lords), Chair, Privileges and Conduct, Committee for (Lords), Chair, Procedure Committee (Lords), Chair, Refreshment Committee (Lords), Chair, Selection, Committee of (Lords), Chair, Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee (Lords), Chair, Accommodation Steering Group Committee, Chair, Sub-Committee on Leave of Absence, Chairman of Committees, House of Lords, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

My Lords, it is reassuring to know that in these changing times there are some certainties about the nature of debate in your Lordships’ House. It is that time of year again.

First, I welcome the endorsement of the noble Lord for the new ad hoc Select Committees that have been established and I hope that we will be able to develop even more ad hoc Select Committees over the years ahead. However, that should not be at the cost of the EU Select Committee and its sub-committees. Indeed, I see a slight—to be generous—illogicality in the noble Lord’s position: given his views on the EU, I should have thought that he would have wanted bigger and better scrutiny of EU matters by your Lordships’ House. Therefore, the case is made for maintaining the present number of sub-committees.

Motions agreed, and a message was sent to the Commons.