Select Committee on European Union Forty-Ninth Report


Letter from the Chairman to Mr David Jamieson

  Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated 5 February 2003 which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 17 February.

  It is understandable that the Commission should want to harmonise minimum safety standards in tunnels, but we have two major concerns about this particular proposal:

    —  the erosion of the subsidiarity principle—which you have highlighted in paragraph 15 of your EM; and

    —  the question of costs—which you deal with in paragraphs 16-18.

  Like you, we think that legislation of this sort must be shown to be both practical and proportionate. Because the costs incurred will, as the proposal blithely states, be borne by the Member States, it would be useful to know whether or not the Government accepts the results of the Commission's cost benefit study carried out by ICF Consulting Limited.

  We note that you have promised a regulatory impact assessment (RIA), which would examine in more detail the potential costs and benefits of the proposal as they apply to the United Kingdom. This being so, the Scrutiny reserve on this document is maintained at least until the RIA is submitted.

20 February 2003

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