An influential group of MPs has called for more EU-focused debates in Parliament to scrutinise laws emanating from Brussels in order to give them more accountability.
The European Scrutiny Committee is urging the Government to give Parliament more tools to re-assert its supremacy over Europe and wants the Europe minister to answer questions on a regular basis.
The proposed tools include creating a system under which MPs could forbid the introduction of a particular EU legislative proposal in the UK, meaning that the government would be expected to oppose and vote against it at EU Council of Ministers meetings.
The MPs also want a new mechanism for dis-applying “parts of the existing acquis,” the existing powers of the EU, which would require an act of parliament to amend the European Communities Act 1972, to end the supremacy of EU law. However, the Committee argues that current oversight is “incomplete” and has not changed hugely since 1998.
The committee’s main recommendations are that Parliament should be able to object to EU proposals and veto their application in the UK and should be able to unilaterally repeal existing EU legislation from the statute book.
In addition, the government should commit in advance to debates on measures of “strong” interest to MPs, while ministers should be questioned in the Commons before EU summits.
According to the Committee, domestic select committees should scrutinise aspects of EU policy, EU committees should have permanent chairs and not be whipped and the UK’s representative in Brussels should give evidence to MPs before their appointment.
Conservative Chair of the Committee, Bill Cash, said that the supremacy of the EU needs to be challenged and added that broadcasters must “improve the information” they provide to the public about EU-related matters.
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