Scrutiny Reform follow-up and Legacy Report - European Scrutiny Contents


4  Papers deposit

37. Our Scrutiny Reform Report made the point that our existing Standing Orders, and the associated Scrutiny Reserve Resolution are now out of date, originating from 1998 - well before the agreement of the Lisbon Treaty.30F[31] The Government rejected our proposed revisions and its subsequent correspondence has instead concentrated on the Government's desire to "streamline" the existing system of formal deposit of documents before Parliament. The effect of this would be to remove various categories of EU document from the requirement to deposit and therefore for the Government to prepare an Explanatory Memorandum.

38. There was liaison at official level in autumn and winter 2014-15 between our Committee, the House of Lords EU Committee and the FCO, in which the FCO provided more detail where its original proposals were ambiguous, following which officials of both Houses reported back to their respective Committees on the implications of this proposed "streamlining".

39. We do not accept most of the Government's proposals for future non-deposit. At this stage of the Parliament, however, we consider that the best approach is to publish our recommendations for consideration by our successors.

40. We set out in the Annex to this Report our response to the Government's proposals on "streamlining" which documents are formally deposited in Parliament. While we accept some of its proposals, the cumulative effect of the others would considerably reduce the number of documents formally scrutinised by Parliament, which we think would be a retrograde step. We trust that once the debates issue is resolved our successor Committee will engage with the Government to resolve the future scope of document deposit, and the associated updates of the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution (including an opt-in version of the Scrutiny Reserve Resolution). We note that deposit is a bicameral process, so any such changes will also need to be agreed by the House of Lords EU Committee.


31   Scrutiny Reform Report, para 8 Back


 
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Prepared 25 March 2015