Select Committee on European Communities Report


Letter from the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP, Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee

  I have today signed an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) for the above document. This letter explains why I have not reintroduced a UK Parliamentary Scrutiny Reserve.

  The original proposal was the subject of EM 8840/97, submitted by the Department on 30 June 1997. Your Committee referred this earlier EM to sub Committee B on 7 July 1997, who cleared it by letter on 30 July 1997. Member States reached agreement on the earlier proposals at the Transport Council of December 1997, pending receipt of the European Parliament's opinion.

  The latest proposals incorporate two relatively minor amendments which are considered acceptable to the UK—requirements for the vehicle engine number to be included and for the Commission to provide models of all registration documents to Member States. The Commission working group considered the European Parliament's first reading amendments and the Commission's amended proposals on 22 September. The Commission accepted the two amendments, but a number of Member States had concerns about the inclusion of engine numbers. As a compromise, it was therefore agreed at the meeting that this item would be an optional requirement, UKREP entered a Parliamentary scrutiny reserve, but the Presidency sought a lifting of this before 30 September so that the proposals could be agreed as "A" points at the 1 October Transport Council.

  Whilst it is unfortunate that it has not been possible to obtain scrutiny clearance, it is felt that the importance of the measure for enforcement and combating crime is such that it is sensible for the Government to confirm its support on 1 October. I hope you will accept my explanation.

25 September 1998

Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP, Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

  Your Explanatory Memorandum and letter dated 25 September on the above proposal were considered by Sub-Committee B at its meeting last week. In your letter you gave your reasons for not reintroducing the scrutiny reserve on this proposal and indicated that the proposal was scheduled for agreement as an "A" point at the 1 October Transport Council. Perhaps you could confirm whether such agreement was reached.

  I would be grateful if you could define what is meant by "trailers" in this proposal: for example, would the definition include caravans?

  I look forward to your reply. In the meantime, this letter lifts the scrutiny reserve.

26 November 1998

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