European Scrutiny CommitteeLetter to the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee from the Government Chief Whip (ESI 17)

Many thanks for your letter of 20 March regarding the scheduling of European Committee debates.

I can assure you that every effort is made to avoid committees clashing with European Scrutiny Committee meetings, but there will be occasions where this may be difficult. For example, if there are documents that require urgent scrutiny clearance or when we are coming towards the end of a Session, then all options need to be explored. A further complication is the change to the sitting times which makes it difficult to provide a two and a half hour slot during those mornings on which the House meets earlier.

The European Scrutiny Committee may want to give consideration to a change to the Standing Orders to reduce the time available for committee debates to one and a half hours in line with other general committees. This would provide far more flexibility as to when committee debates could be scheduled in the future.

21 March 2013

Prepared 28th November 2013