Documents considered by the Committee on 20 June 2018 Contents

12Strategic Partnership Agreement with Japan

Committee’s assessment

Legally and politically important

Committee’s decision

Cleared from scrutiny (decision of 23 May 2018)

Document details

(a) Joint Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Japan, of the other Part; (b) Joint Proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Japan of the other Part

Legal base

(a) Article 37 TEU, Articles 212(1) in conjunction with Article 218(5) and the second paragraph of Article 218(8) TFEU; (b) Article 37 TEU, articles 212(1) in conjunction with Article 218(6)(a) and the second paragraph of Article 218(8) TFEU

Department

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Document Numbers

(a) (39678),—; (b) (39679),—

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

12.1These proposals would enable the EU to enter a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with Japan setting up a platform for political dialogue. Most of it would be provisionally applied on signature.

12.2When we first considered these documents we asked a series of questions concerning transparency as to the extent to which the EU (as opposed to the Member States) is exercising competence; and the extent to which the SPA will apply before Brexit and be replicated in a bilateral UK-Japan agreement.

12.3The Minister (Alan Duncan) has provided a comprehensive reply in his letter of 7 June 2018.

12.4We draw the attention of the House to the fact that the Minister does not propose to take any further steps to clarify the extent to which the EU is:

These are further examples of a number of instances, previously raised by us, of the Government fudging competence issues in the field of external EU agreements.

12.5We note, and draw the attention of the House to the following:

These points apply to a number of EU external agreements. Resolving them in time represents a significant challenge.

Full details of the documents

(a) Joint Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Japan, of the other Part: (39678),—; (b) Joint Proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Japan of the other Part: (39679),—

Previous Committee Reports

Twenty-ninth Report HC 301–xxviii (2017–19), chapter 12, (23 May 2018).


99 Competence exclusive to the EU may only be exercised by the EU; competence shared with Member States may be exercised by the either the EU or the Member States. The SPA contains provisions which are shared competence, but these are not identified in the proposals.




Published: 26 June 2018