EU: Balance of Competences Review

House of Lords written statement – made on 16th May 2013.

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Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Dr Vince Cable) has today made the following Statement.

The Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Dr Cable); and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Sajid Javid) wish to inform both Houses that following our right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’s (William Hague) Oral Statement launching the review of the balance of competences in July 2012 and Written Statement on the progress of the review in October 2012, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, HM Revenue and Customs and the Intellectual Property Office are publishing their calls for evidence.

The review of the internal market: free movement of goods is being jointly led by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Intellectual Property Office, (IPO), with HMRC taking a lead co-ordinating role. The review will consider the balance of competence over intra-EU trade in goods, the customs union and the protection of intellectual property.

The review of trade and investment is being led by BIS and will consider external trade (third country trade) and investment. However, given that trade in goods is a major theme for both reviews, the review teams will be co-ordinating their reviews closely.

The research and development review will cover research, technological development and space. As innovation is closely related to research and technological development, it will fall within the scope of this review.

The call for evidence period will last 12 weeks, from 16 May 2013 to 6 August 2013 and officials will draw together the evidence and policy analysis into draft reports, which will subsequently go through a process of scrutiny before publication in December 2013.

BIS, IPO and HMRC will take a rigorous approach to the collection and analysis of evidence. Each call for evidence sets out the scope of the report and includes a series of broad questions on which contributors are asked to focus. Interested parties are invited to provide evidence with regard to political, economic, social and technological factors. The evidence received (subject to the provision of the Data Protection Act) will be published alongside the final reports in December 2013 and will be available on the government website: www.gov.uk

The departments will pursue an active engagement process, consulting widely across Parliament and its committees, businesses, the devolved Administrations and civil society in order to obtain evidence to contribute to our analysis of the issues. Our EU partners and the EU institutions will also be invited to contribute evidence to the reviews. As the reviews are to be objective and evidence-based, we are encouraging a wide range of interested parties and individuals to contribute.

The results of the reports will be a comprehensive, thorough and detailed analysis. It will aid our understanding of the nature of our EU membership and it will provide a constructive and serious contribution to the wider European debate about modernising, reforming and improving the EU. The reports will not produce specific policy recommendations.

The calls for evidence documents are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses. They are also published and available on the government: https://www.gov.uk/review-of-the-balance-of-competences.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lords Spokesperson (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Maria Miller) has made the following Statement.

Further to the Oral Statement by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs launching the review of the balance of competences on 12 July 2012 (Hansard, col. 468) and his Written Ministerial Statement on the progress of the review on 23 October 2012 (Hansard, col. 46ws) we are today publishing a call for evidence for the tourism, culture, and sport report.

The report will be completed by the autumn of 2013 and will cover the overall application of EU competence in the tourism, culture, and sport sectors. In all three sectors that competence is supporting only, meaning that both the UK and the EU may act: and that action by either does not preclude action by the other. The report will be an opportunity to consider this relationship, and to examine the evidence concerning the impact of EU competences on the UK’s national interest in the sectors of tourism, culture, and sport.

The report will not cover EU competences which affect other sectors for which my department is responsible, including electronic communications, media and the creative industries. This is because the EU does not exercise specific competence for these sectors. It does however act under a wide range of competences which have very significant impacts on them. Many of these relate to the internal market in services, where my department will be working closely with the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills in subsequent stages of the review.

The Government Equalities Unit will be separately contributing to the review of the social and employment competence, on which work will start in the autumn of 2013.

The call for evidence period will last until early August. My department will draw together the evidence into a draft, which will subsequently go through a process of scrutiny before publication in the autumn of 2013.

We will take a rigorous approach to the collection and analysis of evidence. The call for evidence sets out the scope of the report and includes both general and more sector-specific questions on which contributors are invited to focus. The evidence received (subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act) will be published alongside the final report.

My department will pursue an active engagement process, consulting widely across Parliament and its committees, the tourism, culture, and sport sectors, and the devolved Administrations in order to obtain evidence to contribute to our analysis of the issues. Our EU partners and the EU institutions will also be invited to contribute evidence to the review.

The result of the report will be a comprehensive analysis of EU competence in these sectors, and what this means for the United Kingdom. It will aid our understanding of the nature of our EU membership; and it will provide a constructive and serious contribution to the wider European debate about modernising, reforming and improving the EU. The report will not produce specific policy recommendations.

I am arranging for review of the balance of competences—tourism, culture, and sport—call for evidence to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.