Written evidence the European and External
Relations Committee, Scottish Parliament
1. At its meeting on 7 December, the European
and External Relations Committee considered a paper on the European
Union Bill and undertook to contact the European Scrutiny Committee,
given its current inquiry into the Bill.
2. We appreciate that the Bill covers reserved
matters and that you have already reported on Part 3. Nevertheless
we would like to draw to the Committee's attention one or two
implications as regards devolved matters in Part 1 of the Bill.
3. The Bill makes provision for referenda in
the event of proposed amendments to TEU or TFEU which seek to
transfer power or competence from the UK to the European Union.
Given the nature of devolution, these powers could be ones that
have been devolved under the Scotland Act. In this context it
is conceivable that the impact of the transfer of powers might
be significantly different in Scotland (or other devolved areas)
to the UK as a whole.
4. This in turn has a number of potential implications:
- Should the Minister responsible be obliged to
take representations from devolved Parliaments/Governments prior
to producing the statement to be laid before Parliament?
- Should the Minister be obliged to reflect in
the statement any devolved matters raised?
- Should any centrally-produced material for the
referendum include information concerning the differential impact
on Scotland (or other devolved areas) where relevant?
- Will the referendum results information be broken
down at sub-state level?
5. There may of course be other implications
for the Bill of which we are unaware.
6. We would invite the Committee to consider
these issues within its overall consideration of the Bill.
9 December 2010