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House of Commons
Session 2010 - 11
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Other Bills before Parliament

European Union Bill


European Union Bill
Part 1 — Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

1

 

A

Bill

To

Make provision about treaties relating to the European Union and decisions

made under them, including provision implementing the Protocol signed at

Brussels on 23 June 2010 amending the Protocol (No. 36) on transitional

provisions annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the

Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the

European Atomic Energy Community; and to make provision about the

means by which directly applicable or directly effective European Union law

has effect in the United Kingdom. 

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1

Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

Introductory

1       

Interpretation of Part 1

(1)   

This section has effect for the interpretation of this Part.

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(2)   

“TEU” means the Treaty on European Union.

(3)   

“TFEU” means the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

(4)   

A reference to a treaty which amends TEU or TFEU includes a reference to—

(a)   

a treaty resulting from the application of Article 48(2) to (5) of TEU

(ordinary revision procedure);

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(b)   

an agreement under Article 49 of TEU (admission of new members).

(5)   

An “Article 48(6) decision” means a decision under Article 48(6) of TEU

(simplified revision procedure).

 

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European Union Bill
Part 1 — Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

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(6)   

Except in a reference to “the European Council”, “the Council” means the

Council of the European Union.

(7)   

A reference to a Minister of the Crown voting in favour of or otherwise

supporting a decision is a reference to a Minister of the Crown voting in favour

of or otherwise supporting the decision in the European Council or the

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Council.

Restrictions relating to amendments of TEU or TFEU

2       

Treaties amending or replacing TEU or TFEU

(1)   

A treaty which amends or replaces TEU or TFEU is not to be ratified unless—

(a)   

a statement relating to the treaty was laid before Parliament in

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accordance with section 5,

(b)   

the treaty is approved by Act of Parliament, and

(c)   

the referendum condition or the exemption condition is met.

(2)   

The referendum condition is that—

(a)   

the Act providing for the approval of the treaty provides that the

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provision approving the treaty is not to come into force until a

referendum about whether the treaty should be ratified has been held

throughout the United Kingdom or, where the treaty affects Gibraltar,

throughout the United Kingdom and Gibraltar,

(b)   

the referendum has been held, and

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(c)   

the majority of those voting in the referendum are in favour of the

ratification of the treaty.

(3)   

The exemption condition is that the Act providing for the approval of the treaty

states that the treaty does not fall within section 4.

3       

Amendment of TFEU under simplified revision procedure

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(1)   

Where the European Council has adopted an Article 48(6) decision subject to

its approval by the member States, a Minister of the Crown may not confirm

the approval of the decision by the United Kingdom unless—

(a)   

a statement relating to the decision was laid before Parliament in

accordance with section 5,

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(b)   

the decision is approved by Act of Parliament, and

(c)   

the referendum condition, the exemption condition or the significance

condition is met.

(2)   

The referendum condition is that—

(a)   

the Act providing for the approval of the decision provides that the

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provision approving the decision is not to come into force until a

referendum about whether the decision should be approved has been

held throughout the United Kingdom or, where the decision affects

Gibraltar, throughout the United Kingdom and Gibraltar,

(b)   

the referendum has been held, and

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(c)   

the majority of those voting in the referendum are in favour of the

approval of the decision.

(3)   

The exemption condition is that the Act providing for the approval of the

decision states that the decision does not fall within section 4.

 
 

European Union Bill
Part 1 — Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

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(4)   

The significance condition is that the Act providing for the approval of the

decision states that—

(a)   

the decision falls within section 4 only because of provision of the kind

mentioned in subsection (1)(i) or (j) of that section, and

(b)   

the effect of that provision in relation to the United Kingdom is not

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significant.

4       

Cases where treaty or Article 48(6) decision attracts a referendum

(1)   

Subject to subsection (4), a treaty or an Article 48(6) decision falls within this

section if it involves one or more of the following—

(a)   

the extension of the objectives of the EU as set out in Article 3 of TEU;

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(b)   

the conferring on the EU of a new exclusive competence;

(c)   

the extension of an exclusive competence of the EU;

(d)   

the conferring on the EU of a new competence shared with the member

States;

(e)   

the extension of any competence of the EU that is shared with the

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member States;

(f)   

the extension of the competence of the EU in relation to—

(i)   

the co-ordination of economic and employment policies, or

(ii)   

common foreign and security policy;

(g)   

the conferring on the EU of a new competence to carry out actions to

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support, co-ordinate or supplement the actions of member States;

(h)   

the extension of a supporting, co-ordinating or supplementing

competence of the EU;

(i)   

the conferring on an EU institution or body of power to impose a

requirement or obligation on the United Kingdom, or the removal of

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any limitation on any such power of an EU institution or body;

(j)   

the conferring on an EU institution or body of new or extended power

to impose sanctions on the United Kingdom;

(k)   

any amendment of a provision listed in Schedule 1 that removes a

requirement that anything should be done unanimously, by consensus

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or by common accord;

(l)   

any amendment of Article 31(2) of TEU (decisions relating to common

foreign and security policy to which qualified majority voting applies)

that removes or amends the provision enabling a member of the

Council to oppose the adoption of a decision to be taken by qualified

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majority voting;

(m)   

any amendment of any of the provisions specified in subsection (3) that

removes or amends the provision enabling a member of the Council, in

relation to a draft legislative act, to ensure the suspension of the

ordinary legislative procedure.

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(2)   

Any reference in subsection (1) to the extension of a competence includes a

reference to the removal of a limitation on a competence.

(3)   

The provisions referred to in subsection (1)(m) are—

(a)   

Article 48 of TFEU (social security),

(b)   

Article 82(3) of TFEU (judicial co-operation in criminal matters), and

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(c)   

Article 83(3) of TFEU (particularly serious crime with a cross-border

dimension).

 
 

European Union Bill
Part 1 — Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

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(4)   

A treaty or Article 48(6) decision does not fall within this section merely

because it involves one or more of the following—

(a)   

the codification of practice under TEU or TFEU in relation to the

previous exercise of an existing competence;

(b)   

the making of any provision that applies only to member States other

5

than the United Kingdom;

(c)   

in the case of a treaty, the accession of a new member State.

5       

Statement to be laid before Parliament

(1)   

If a treaty amending TEU or TFEU is agreed in an inter-governmental

conference, a Minister of the Crown must lay the required statement before

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Parliament before the end of the 2 months beginning with the date on which

the treaty is agreed.

(2)   

If an Article 48(6) decision is adopted by the European Council subject to its

approval by the member States, a Minister of the Crown must lay the required

statement before Parliament before the end of the 2 months beginning with the

15

date on which the decision is adopted.

(3)   

The required statement is a statement as to whether, in the Minister’s opinion,

the treaty or Article 48(6) decision falls within section 4.

(4)   

If the Minister is of the opinion that an Article 48(6) decision falls within section

4 only because of provision of the kind mentioned in subsection (1)(i) or (j) of

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that section, the statement must indicate whether in the Minister’s opinion the

effect of that provision in relation to the United Kingdom is significant.

(5)   

The statement must give reasons for the Minister’s opinion under subsection

(3) and, if relevant, subsection (4).

Restrictions relating to other decisions under TEU or TFEU

25

6       

Decisions requiring approval by Act and by referendum

(1)   

A Minister of the Crown may not vote in favour of or otherwise support a

decision to which this subsection applies unless—

(a)   

the draft decision is approved by Act of Parliament, and

(b)   

the referendum condition is met.

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(2)   

Where the European Council has recommended to the member States the

adoption of a decision under Article 42(2) of TEU in relation to a common EU

defence, a Minister of the Crown may not notify the European Council that the

decision is adopted by the United Kingdom unless—

(a)   

the decision is approved by Act of Parliament, and

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(b)   

the referendum condition is met.

(3)   

The referendum condition is that set out in section 3(2), with references to a

decision being read for the purposes of subsection (1) as references to a draft

decision.

(4)   

The decisions to which subsection (1) applies are—

40

(a)   

a decision under the provision of Article 31(3) of TEU that permits the

adoption of qualified majority voting;

 
 

European Union Bill
Part 1 — Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

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(b)   

a decision under Article 48(7) of TEU which in relation to any provision

listed in Schedule 1

(i)   

adopts qualified majority voting, or

(ii)   

applies the ordinary legislative procedure in place of a special

legislative procedure requiring the Council to act unanimously;

5

(c)   

a decision under Article 86(1) of TFEU involving participation by the

United Kingdom in a European Public Prosecutor’s Office;

(d)   

where the United Kingdom has become a participant in a European

Public Prosecutor’s Office, a decision under Article 86(4) of TFEU to

extend the powers of that Office;

10

(e)   

a decision under Article 140(3) of TFEU which would make the euro the

currency of the United Kingdom;

(f)   

a decision under the provision of Article 153(2) of TFEU (social policy)

that permits the application of the ordinary legislative procedure in

place of a special legislative procedure;

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(g)   

a decision under the provision of Article 192(2) of TFEU (environment)

that permits the application of the ordinary legislative procedure in

place of a special legislative procedure;

(h)   

a decision under the provision of Article 312(2) of TFEU (EU finance)

that permits the adoption of qualified majority voting;

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(i)   

a decision under the provision of Article 333(1) of TFEU (enhanced co-

operation) that permits the adoption of qualified majority voting,

where the decision relates to a provision listed in Schedule 1 and the

United Kingdom is a participant in the enhanced co-operation to which

the decision relates;

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(j)   

a decision under the provision of Article 333(2) of TFEU (enhanced co-

operation) that permits the adoption of the ordinary legislative

procedure in place of a special legislative procedure, where—

(i)   

the decision relates to a provision listed in Schedule 1,

(ii)   

the special legislative procedure requires the Council to act

30

unanimously, and

(iii)   

the United Kingdom is a participant in the enhanced co-

operation to which the decision relates;

(k)   

a decision under Article 4 of the Schengen Protocol that removes any

border control of the United Kingdom.

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(5)   

In subsection (4)(k) “the Schengen Protocol” means the Protocol (No. 19) on the

Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the European Union,

annexed to TEU and TFEU.

7       

Decisions requiring approval by Act

(1)   

A Minister of the Crown may not confirm the approval by the United Kingdom

40

of a decision to which this subsection applies unless the decision is approved

by Act of Parliament.

(2)   

The decisions to which subsection (1) applies are—

(a)   

a decision under the provision of Article 25 of TFEU that permits the

adoption of provisions to strengthen or add to the rights listed in

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Article 20(2) of that Treaty (rights of citizens of the European Union);

(b)   

a decision under the provision of Article 223(1) of TFEU that permits

the laying down of the provisions necessary for the election of the

members of the European Parliament in accordance with that Article;

 
 

European Union Bill
Part 1 — Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

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(c)   

a decision under the provision of Article 262 of TFEU that permits the

conferring of jurisdiction on the Court of Justice of the European Union

in disputes relating to the application of acts adopted on the basis of the

EU Treaties which create European intellectual property rights;

(d)   

a decision under the third paragraph of Article 311 of TFEU to adopt a

5

decision laying down provisions relating to the system of own

resources of the European Union.

(3)   

A Minister of the Crown may not vote in favour of or otherwise support a

decision to which this subsection applies unless the draft decision is approved

by Act of Parliament.

10

(4)   

The decisions to which subsection (3) applies are—

(a)   

a decision under the provision of Article 17(5) of TEU that permits the

alteration of the number of members of the European Commission;

(b)   

a decision under Article 48(7) of TEU which in relation to any decision

not listed in Schedule 1

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(i)   

adopts qualified majority voting, or

(ii)   

applies the ordinary legislative procedure in place of a special

legislative procedure requiring the Council to act unanimously;

(c)   

a decision under the provision of Article 64(3) of TFEU that permits the

adoption of measures which constitute a step backwards in European

20

Union law as regards the liberalisation of the movement of capital to or

from third countries;

(d)   

a decision under the provision of Article 126(14) of TFEU that permits

the adoption of provisions to replace the Protocol (No. 12) on the

excessive deficit procedure annexed to TEU and TFEU;

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(e)   

a decision under the provision of Article 333(1) of TFEU (enhanced co-

operation) that permits the adoption of qualified majority voting,

where the decision relates to a provision not listed in Schedule 1 and the

United Kingdom is a participant in the enhanced co-operation to which

the decision relates;

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(f)   

a decision under the provision of Article 333(2) of TFEU (enhanced co-

operation) that permits the adoption of the ordinary legislative

procedure in place of a special legislative procedure, where—

(i)   

the decision relates to a provision not listed in Schedule 1,

(ii)   

the special legislative procedure requires the Council to act

35

unanimously, and

(iii)   

the United Kingdom is a participant in the enhanced co-

operation to which the decision relates.

8       

Decisions under Article 352 of TFEU

(1)   

A Minister of the Crown may not vote in favour of or otherwise support an

40

Article 352 decision unless one of subsections (3) to (5) is complied with in

relation to the draft decision.

(2)   

An Article 352 decision is a decision under the provision of Article 352 of TFEU

that permits the adoption of measures to attain one of the objectives set out in

the EU Treaties (but for which those Treaties have not provided the necessary

45

powers).

(3)   

This subsection is complied with if a draft decision is approved by Act of

Parliament.

 
 

European Union Bill
Part 1 — Restrictions on treaties and decisions relating to EU

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(4)   

This subsection is complied with if—

(a)   

in each House of Parliament a Minister of the Crown moves a motion

that the House approves Her Majesty’s Government’s intention to

support a specified draft decision and is of the opinion that the measure

to which it relates is required as a matter of urgency, and

5

(b)   

each House agrees to the motion without amendment.

(5)   

This subsection is complied with if a Minister of the Crown has laid before

Parliament a statement specifying a draft decision and stating that in the

opinion of the Minister the decision relates only to one or more exempt

purposes.

10

(6)   

The exempt purposes are—

(a)   

to make provision equivalent to that made by a measure previously

adopted under Article 352 of TFEU, other than an excepted measure;

(b)   

to prolong or renew a measure previously adopted under that Article,

other than an excepted measure;

15

(c)   

to extend a measure previously adopted under that Article to another

member State or other country;

(d)   

to repeal existing measures adopted under that Article;

(e)   

to consolidate existing measures adopted under that Article without

any change of substance.

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(7)   

In subsection (6)(a) and (b), “excepted measure” means a measure adopted

after the commencement of this section and resulting from a decision in

relation to which a Minister of the Crown had relied on compliance with

subsection (4).

9       

Approval required in connection with Title V of Part 3 of TFEU

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(1)   

A Minister of the Crown may not give a notification to which this subsection

applies unless Parliamentary approval has been given in accordance with

subsection (3).

(2)   

Subsection (1) applies in relation to a notification under Article 3 of Protocol

(No. 21) on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the

30

area of freedom, security and justice annexed to TEU and TFEU (the “AFSJ

Protocol”) that the United Kingdom wishes to take part in the adoption and

application of a measure proposed under any of the following—

(a)   

the provision of Article 81(3) of TFEU (family law) that permits the

application of the ordinary legislative procedure in place of a special

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legislative procedure;

(b)   

the provision of Article 82(2)(d) of TFEU (criminal procedure) that

permits the identification of further specific aspects of criminal

procedure to which directives adopted under the ordinary legislative

procedure may relate;

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(c)   

the provision of Article 83(1) of TFEU (particularly serious crime with

a cross-border dimension) that permits the identification of further

areas of crime to which directives adopted under the ordinary

legislative procedure may relate.

(3)   

Parliamentary approval is given if—

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(a)   

in each House of Parliament a Minister of the Crown moves a motion

that the House approves Her Majesty’s Government’s intention to give

a notification in respect of a specified measure, and

 
 

 
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