EU: Westminster Scrutiny Reserve

House of Lords written question – answered on 15th January 2009.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 31 January 2007 (WA 50—51), how many times since June 2006 they have overridden the scrutiny reserve of (a) the House of Lords European Union Committee; and (b) the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa, Asia and the UN)

The table below provides information on the number of overrides in each House since the Government began sending twice-yearly lists to the chairmen of the House of Lords European Union Committee and the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee every six months. The table has been updated to include figures between July 2006 and June 2008. Figures for the period July-December 2008 will be compiled shortly.

Occasions the Scrutiny Reserve resolution has been overridden
Period House of Lords House of Commons
Jan-June 2003 30 26
July-Dec 2003 34 33
Jan-June 2004 13 16
June-Dec 2004 20 22
Jan-June 2005* 28 52
July-Dec 2005 17 19
Jan-June 2006 **14 12
July-Dec 2006 24 29
Jan-June 2007 6 5
July-Dec 2007 ***9 ****14
Jan-June 2008 7 4

* Figures for the first half of 2005 include a period when Parliament was dissolved and a period immediately after the opening of Parliament before the European Union Committee in the House of Lords and the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons could be appointed.

** Figure corrected from 15 which appeared in the previous answer provided by Lord Triesman. An instrument had been included in error which was acknowledged by the House of Lord European Union Committee in the Annual Report for 2007.

*** The report provided to the Committee also included an additional 4 instruments on which a general approach had been reached before the Committee had completed their scrutiny. Although the Government did not agree that the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution should be interpreted to include the stage of "general approach" until 1 July 2008, these items were included for information.

**** The report provided to the Committee also included an additional 2 instruments on which a general approach had been reached before the Committee had completed their scrutiny. Although the Government did not agree that the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution should be interpreted to include the stage of "general approach" until 1 July 2008, these items were included for information.

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