Select Committee on Liaison Second Report

Second Report

23 June 2003

By the Select Committee appointed to advise the House on the resources required for select committee work and to allocate resources between select committees; to review the select committee work of the House; to consider requests for ad hoc committees and report to the House with recommendations; to ensure effective co-ordination between the two Houses; and to consider the availability of Lords to serve on committees.


Appointment of an additional Sub-Committee of the European Union Committee

1. At their previous meeting on 17 February, the Committee considered a proposal from Lord Grenfell that two additional sub-committees of the European Union Committee be set up. This request was related to the Review of Scrutiny of European Instruments conducted by the European Union Committee. The Liaison Committee took the view that it was at that stage premature to come to a decision on Lord Grenfell's proposal before the House had debated the European Union Committee's report and before the Government's response had been received.

2. The report was debated by the House on 9th May 2003. At the end of the debate Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean indicated that the Leader of the House would support the creation of one additional sub-committee. In the light of this Lord Grenfell has proposed that one additional sub-committee be set up, so that the division of policy responsibilities between sub-committees might be improved; to deal better with the increase in workload of the Select Committee; and to anticipate outside pressure for an enhanced role for National Parliaments in the European Union stemming from the proposals of the Convention on the Future of Europe. Lord Grenfell has indicated that the European Union Committee would be content to reduce slightly the number of Members of the House serving on each sub-committee so as to minimise the effect of the appointment of an additional sub-committee on the availability of Members to serve on them.

3. A majority of the Committee agreed that an additional sub-committee should be appointed for the reasons provided by Lord Grenfell in his original proposal. Concern was expressed, however, that the appointment of such a sub-committee might lead to an increase in the number of reports recommended for debate. Current pressure on time for debates was already very high. Concern was also expressed that the appointment of another sub-committee should not place undue pressure on the availability of Members of the House to serve. Accordingly, the Committee recommends that the European Union Committee appoint an additional sub-committee with effect from the next session; that the Committee exercise restraint in the number of reports recommended for debate; and that the number of Members of the House serving on sub-committees should not exceed ten.

previous page contents

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003