Documents considered by the Committee on 18th November 2016 Contents

12Statistics: persons and households data

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested

Document details

Proposed Regulation establishing a common framework for European statistics relating to persons and households

Legal base

Article 338(1) TFEU; ordinary legislative procedure; QMV

Department

Office for National Statistics

Document Numbers

(38029), 11774/16 + ADDs 1–3, COM(16) 551

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

12.1The Commission has proposed, in the context of the European Statistical System, a Regulation to introduce Integrated European Social Statistics that is a common framework for EU statistics relating to persons and households. When we considered the proposal, in October 2016, we heard that, subject to the Brexit negotiations, the Government will support the main objectives of the proposal. It noted that, as long as the UK is obliged to, or otherwise chooses to, produce social statistics for the European Statistical System, there are clear benefits over the current EU statutory framework. However, it drew our attention to several reservations it has about the proposed Regulation. We asked whether the Government intends to seek continued participation in the European Statistical System as part of the Brexit deal. While keeping this document under scrutiny, we asked also to hear about progress in addressing the concerns it had expressed to us about several aspects of the proposed Regulation.

12.2The Government tells us now that, whether continued membership of the European Statistical System is appropriate for the UK or in the UK’s interests, needs to be considered in the broader context of the UK’s future relationship with the EU, that the UK will continue to be active in the international statistical community, through the United Nations Statistical Commission, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other fora, and that the Government will continue to advance comparability of official statistics within the UK and internationally.

12.3We note the Government’s limited response to our question as to whether the Government intends to seek continued participation in the European Statistical System post Brexit.

12.4We remind the Government that we await information about progress in addressing the points of concern in the proposed Regulation, to which it has drawn our attention. We should like this information before a draft General Approach goes to COREPER. Meanwhile the document remains under scrutiny.

Full details of the document

Proposed Regulation establishing a common framework for European statistics relating to persons and households, based on data at individual level collected from samples: (38029), 11774/16 + ADDs 1–3, COM(16) 551.

Background

12.5The Commission has proposed, in the context of the European Statistical System (in which EU and EEA/EFTA Member States cooperate), a Regulation to introduce Integrated European Social Statistics (IESS), that is a common framework for EU statistics relating to persons and households, based on data at individual level collected from samples. The framework would cover seven domains (surveys)—labour market, income and living conditions, health, education and training, use of information and communication technologies, time use, and consumption.

12.6When we considered the proposal, in October 2016, the Government told us that, subject to the Brexit negotiations, it will support the main objectives of the proposal (the modernisation of social statistics and an integrated approach to survey design). It noted that, as long as the UK is obliged to, or otherwise chooses to, produce social statistics for the European Statistical System, there are clear benefits over the current EU statutory framework. However, it drew our attention to several reservations it has about the proposed Regulation, which it would be seeking to resolve during negotiation of the proposal.

12.7We asked the Government to tell us whether it intends to seek continued participation in the European Statistical System as part of the Brexit deal. While keeping this document under scrutiny, we asked also to hear from the Government about progress in addressing the concerns it had expressed to us about the following aspects of the proposed Regulation:

The Minister’s letter of 4 November 2016

12.8The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Chris Skidmore), responds now to our question as to whether the Government intends to seek continued participation in the European Statistical System as part of the Brexit deal. He first says that:

“The Government has said that its guiding approach is to implement the mandate that the people have given us to deliver the UK’s exit from the EU, and to do so in a smooth way, which delivers the best deal for the British people and sees us working constructively with our EU partners going forward.”

12.9The Minister then tells us that:

Previous Committee Reports

Thirteenth Report HC 71-xi (2016–17), chapter 10 (12 October 2016).





21 November 2016