Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report



Letter from Caroline Flint MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, Department of Health to the Chairman

I am writing to report progress of the negotiations on this proposal. The Committee was informed on 17 February of the adoption of the Council's Common Position text at the Health Council in December 2005. This allowed the European Parliament to commence its second reading scrutiny in January of this year.

  The amendments proposed by the Parliament's rapporteur were relatively minor and bore no policy implications for the UK. The issues have now been resolved to the satisfaction of the Parliament and Council and a second reading deal should follow the vote in the plenary session of the European Parliament in the week commencing 15 May. The UK is content with the likely second reading deal. This proposal has several cross-references to the proposal on nutrition and health claims made on foods (on which I am writing separately), and for this reason the European institutions have been taking the two proposals together.

  A second reading deal would allow formal adoption of the Regulation, with entry into force some six months later. The timing of adoption of the Regulation is largely dependent on progress with the claims proposal and I will write again when the position is clearer. While the Regulation will be directly applicable in the UK, statutory instruments in England and each of the devolved administrations would be required to set penalties for offences.

4 May 2006

Letter from the Chairman to Caroline Flint MP

  Thank you for your letter dated 4 May which was considered by Sub-Committee G on 18 May.

  We note that outstanding issues, which were relatively minor and had no policy implications for the UK, have now been resolved to the satisfaction of the European Parliament (EP) and the Council and that the UK is content with the Second Reading deal which is likely to follow a vote in a plenary session in the EP this week.

  We also note that the timing of formal adoption will depend on progress in resolving the related dossier on Nutrition and Health Claims in Food Labelling (reference 11646/03), about which you also wrote to me on the same date.

  As you know, this document has already been cleared from scrutiny but we are grateful to you for promising to report further developments.

19 May 2006

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