Select Committee on European Communities Eleventh Report



Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee to Angela Eagle MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

  Further to the correspondence between Mr Clappison and myself in the last Parliament,[1] Sub-Committee C has considered the request from officials that the scrutiny reserve in respect of the above document should now be lifted, to enable the Government to take a position on the Presidency's draft Resolution at the Environmental Council meeting on 19-20 June. I understand that the text of the draft is substantially unchanged from the one which was sent to us under cover of Mr Clappison's letter of 24 February with an unnumbered explanatory memorandum. As he explained to me in his subsequent letter of 17 March, consideration of the draft was in the event deferred at the March Environmental Council meeting, in order to allow time for comments by the European Parliament.

  As you will be aware, the Commission's Communication has been the principal focus of the enquiry which Sub-Committee C carried out in the last Session. A Report on the enquiry is now expected to be published next month. Having regard to the timing of the Environment Council meeting, and on the basis of the information provided by officials - that the Parliament has adopted the Commission's Communication with only one minor amendment, that the Government's main points have been satisfactorily taken account of during negotiations at Environment Working Group level, and that there have been no changes of policy or direction in your Department which are likely to have bearing on the conclusions of the forthcoming Report - we are content to lift the scrutiny reserve in respect of both the Communication (11418/96) and the draft Council Resolution.

  Like the House of Commons European Legislation Committee, we would ask to be kept closely informed of developments as the Commission's proposals are taken forward. The recommendations in the forthcoming Report are relevant to this ongoing process but do not directly bear on the likely conclusions of the 19-20 June meeting.

11 June 1997

1   Printed in Correspondence with Ministers, 12th Report, Session 1996-97, pp28-29. Back

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