European Union Committee

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The European Union Committee[1] is a select committee of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Its terms of reference are "To consider European Union documents and other matters relating to the European Union", as well as "to represent the House as appropriate in interparliamentary co-operation within the European Union".[2]

Much of the detailed scrutiny work on EU documents is conducted by the sub-committees, each dealing with a separate policy area. The main committee oversees the work of the sub-committees and approves their reports and scrutinises proposals that cross subject areas, such as the Treaty of Lisbon and the multiannual financial framework. In addition, the main committee takes evidence on the EU presidency from each incoming Presidency country, and on meetings of the Council of the European Union from the Minister for Europe.[3]

Committee members represent the House of Lords at a number of different interparliamentary meetings, such as COSAC and joint committee meetings at the European Parliament. As part of their work representing the House in interparliamentary co-operation within the EU, the committees contribute to the IPEX database, which brings together information about national parliamentary scrutiny from all EU Member States.[4]

Select Committee membership[edit]

The Select Committee has nineteen members: the chairman, the chairmen of the sub-committees, and other members, all of whom also sit on sub-committees.

As of March 20 2019, the members of the main select committee are as follows:

Member Party
Lord Boswell of Aynho (Chairman) Non-affiliated
Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top Labour
Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench
Lord Cromwell Crossbench
Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Chairman of Financial Affairs Sub-Committee) Liberal Democrat
Lord Jay of Ewelme (Chairman of Home Affairs Sub-Committee) Crossbench
Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws (Chairman of Justice Sub-Committee) Labour
Earl of Kinnoull Crossbench
Lord Liddle Labour
Earl of Lindsay Conservative
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Conservative
Baroness Noakes Conservative
Lord Polak Conservative
Lord Ricketts Crossbench
Lord Soley Labour
Baroness Suttie Liberal Democrat
Lord Teverson (Chairman of Energy and Environment Sub-Committee) Liberal Democrat
Baroness Verma (Chairman of External Affairs Sub-Committee) Conservative
Lord Whitty (Chairman of Internal Market Sub-Committee) Labour

Scrutiny work[edit]

The UK Government deposits European documents, such as draft Directives and Communications from the European Commission, in Parliament. These are then subjected to scrutiny by the EU Select Committee and its counterpart in the House of Commons, the European Scrutiny Committee. In the House of Lords system, each deposited document is sifted by subject area and importance for the Select Committee or one of the sub-committees to scrutinise carefully on an ongoing basis.[5] The Chairman of the Select Committee pursues any issues arising in correspondence with the responsible minister, and from time to time directly with the Commission. This correspondence is publicly available.[6]


Prior to the start of the 2012–13 Session, the Select Committee had seven sub-committees. In May 2012, at the start of the new parliamentary session, the Select Committee restructured its sub-committees, eliminating the previous Sub-committee G (Social Policies and Consumer Protection)[7] and revising the remits of the remaining six sub-committees.[8] The new sub-committees are as follows:

Financial Affairs[edit]

The EU Financial Affairs Sub-committee considers issues relating to the economic outlook and financial sector of the European Union. The Sub-committee has recently considered the proposals for a EU financial transaction tax, regulatory reforms such as such as AIFMD and MiFID II, and the European Supervisory Authorities. In addition, it scrutinises the EU annual budget.

As of March 20, 2019, the Financial Affairs sub-committee's membership is:[9]

Member Party
Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Chairman) Liberal Democrat
Lord Bruce of Bennachie Liberal Democrat
Lord Butler of Brockwell Crossbench
Lord Cavendish of Furness Conservative
Lord Desai Labour
Lord Giddens Labour
Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke Labour
Earl of Lindsay Conservative
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Conservative
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Crossbench
Viscount Trenchard Conservative
Lord Vaux of Harrowden Crossbench

Internal Market[edit]

The EU Internal Market Sub-committee considers all issues arising from the internal market, employment, and infrastructure, such as measures affecting the free movement of workers, goods and services; company law policy; public procurement; and the European rail market. It also provides oversight in the House of Lords for the European Space Policy.

As of March 20 2019, the Internal Market sub-committee's membership is:[10]

Member Party
Lord Whitty (Chairman) Labour
Lord Aberdare Crossbench
Baroness Donaghy Labour
Lord German Liberal Democrat
Lord Lansley Conservative
Lord Liddle Labour
Baroness McGregor-Smith Conservative
Baroness Noakes Conservative
Baroness Randerson Liberal Democrat
Lord Rees of Ludlow Crossbench
Lord Robathan Conservative
Lord Russell of Liverpool Crossbench
Lord Wigley Plaid Cymru

External Affairs[edit]

EU foreign affairs, defence, and international trade and development policy are within the remit of the EU External Affairs Sub-committee. Included within this remit are relations between the EU and non-EU nations and with other international organisations. The Sub-committee also considers issues relating to post-Brexit trade of goods and options between the UK and the EU, post-Brexit sanctions policy, and the effects of Operation Sophia.

As of March 20, 2019, the External Affairs sub-committee's membership is:[11]

Member Party
Baroness Verma (Chairman) Conservative
Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top Labour
Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey Conservative
Lord Dubs Labour
Lord Horam Conservative
Earl of Oxford and Asquith Liberal Democrat
Lord Risby Conservative
Lord Stirrup Crossbench
Baroness Suttie Liberal Democrat
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Labour
Lord Triesman Labour

Energy and Environment[edit]

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-committee considers policies regarding agriculture, fisheries, environment, and energy, including the Common Agriculture Policy, Common Fisheries Policy, and climate change.

As of 20 March 2019, the Energy and Environment sub-committee's membership is:[12]

Member Party
Lord Teverson (Chairman) Liberal Democrat
Lord Cameron of Dillington Crossbench
Viscount Hanworth Labour
Lord Krebs Crossbench
Duke of Montrose Conservative
Lord Rooker Labour
Lord Selkirk of Douglas Conservative
Baroness Sheehan Liberal Democrat
Earl of Stair Crossbench
Viscount Ullswater Conservative
Baroness Wilcox Conservative
Lord Young of Norwood Green Labour


The EU Justice Sub-committee's remit includes proposals involving criminal justice reform, fundamental rights, and copyright and intellectual property. It also scrutinises matters of institutional and consumer protection.

As of January 2019, the Justice sub-committee's membership is:[13]

Member Party
Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws (Chairman) Labour
Lord Anderson of Swansea Labour
Lord Cashman Labour
Lord Cromwell Crossbench
Lord Dholakia Liberal Democrat
Lord Judd Labour
Earl of Kinnoull Crossbench
Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat
Baroness Neuberger Crossbench
Lord Polak Conservative
Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia Conservative
Lord Wasserman Conservative

Home Affairs[edit]

The EU Home Affairs Sub-committee scrutinises policies related to asylum, border security, immigration (including Schengen Agreement), police cooperation (including Europol), healthcare, and education policy. A top priority of the sub-committee in recent years is an ongoing inquiry in the EU’s response to the European migrant crisis.

As of 20 March 2019, the Home Affairs sub-committee's membership is:[14]

Member Party
Lord Jay of Ewelme (Chairman) Crossbench
Lord Best Crossbench
Lord Haselhurst Conservative
Baroness Janke Liberal Democrat
Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate Conservative
Baroness Massey of Darwen Labour
Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan Labour
Baroness Pinnock Liberal Democrat
Lord Ribeiro Conservative
Lord Ricketts Crossbench
Lord Soley Labour
Lord Watts Labour

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Committee home page".
  2. ^ "House of Lords Hansard, 16 May 2012, col. 400".
  3. ^ "European Union Committee—Role".
  4. ^ "House of Lords IPEX entry".
  5. ^ "Committee's Introduction to Scrutiny".
  6. ^ "EU Committee Publications".
  7. ^ "Sub-committee G web page".
  8. ^ "European Union Committee–Restructuring of Sub-committees".
  9. ^ "European Union Financial Affairs Sub-Committee membership".
  10. ^ "European Union Internal Market Sub-Committee membership page".
  11. ^ "European Union External Affairs Sub-Committee membership".
  12. ^ "European Union Energy and Environment Sub-Committee membership".
  13. ^ "European Union Justice Sub-Committee membership".
  14. ^ "European Union Home Affairs Sub-Committee membership".