European Union Committee


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. Beginning in 2020, the committee has also focused on the implementation of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.[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

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 January 2021, the members of the main select committee are as follows:

Member Party
Earl of Kinnoull (Chair) Crossbench
Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench
Baroness Couttie Conservative
Baroness Donaghy (Chair of Services) Labour
Lord Faulkner of Worcester Labour
Lord Goldsmith Labour
Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat
Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench
Lord Lamont of Lerwick Conservative
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Conservative
Lord Oates Liberal Democrat
Baroness Primarolo Labour
Lord Ricketts (Chair of Security and Justice)  Crossbench
Lord Sharkey Liberal Democrat
Lord Teverson (Chair of Environment) Liberal Democrat
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Crossbench
Baroness Verma (Chair of Goods) Conservative
Lord Wood of Anfield Labour

Scrutiny work

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] Shortly after the United Kingdom's withdrawal agreement with the EU went into effect in January 2020, the sub-committees were further reduced to five, merging the previous six sub-committees into four, and adding the new International Agreements sub-committee. The new sub-committees are as follows:


The EU Environment Sub-committee examines the European Union's policies regarding the environment as well as agriculture, energy, climate change, food, fisheries, biosecurity, and overall public health. In addition, it considers the environmental impact of the UK−EU level playing field. The sub-committee largely replaces the previous EU Energy and Environment Sub-committee.

As of June 2020, the EU Environment Sub-committee's membership is:[9]

Member Party
Lord Teverson (Chair) Liberal Democrat
Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench
Baroness Bryan of Partick Labour
Lord Cameron of Dillington Crossbench
Lord Carter of Coles Labour
Lord Cormack Conservative
Lord Giddens Labour
Baroness Jolly Liberal Democrat
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering  Conservative
Duke of Montrose Conservative
Earl of Stair Crossbench
Lord Young of Norwood Green Labour


The EU Goods Sub-committee considers the European Union's policies and legislative proposals, as well as ongoing negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union, regarding future trade in goods (including customs), level playing fields, consumer protections, public procurement and transport. The sub-committee replaces various aspects of the previous sub-committees on EU External Affairs and EU Internal Market.

As of May 2020, the EU Goods Sub-committee's membership is:[10]

Member Party
Baroness Verma (Chair) Conservative
Lord Berkeley Labour
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey  Conservative
Lord Faulkner of Worcester Labour
Lord Inglewood Non-affiliated
Baroness Kramer Liberal Democrat
Lord Lamont of Lerwick Conservative
Lord Lilley Conservative
Lord Russell of Liverpool Crossbench
Lord Shipley Liberal Democrat
Lord Turnbull Crossbench
Lord Wood of Anfield Labour

International Agreements

All treaties presented before Parliament as per the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 are examined by the International Agreements Sub-committee, which also considers negotiations with foreign states and international bodies. The sub-committee is a unique addition to the European Union Committee following the official initiation of Brexit in January 2020.

As of November 2021, the EU International Agreements Sub-committee's membership is:[11]

Member Party
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (Chair)  Labour
Lord Astor of Hever Conservative
Lord Gold Conservative
Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench
Lord Lansley Conservative
Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke Labour
Lord Morris of Aberavon Labour
Lord Oates Liberal Democrat
Lord Razzall Liberal Democrat
Lord Robathan Conservative
Earl of Sandwich Crossbench
Lord Watts Labour

Security and Justice

The EU Security and Justice Sub-committee considers the United Kingdom's future relations with the EU regarding internal and external security, including criminal justice, policing, data-sharing, and defence. The sub-committee combines various aspects of the previous sub-committees on Home Affairs, External Affairs, and Justice.

As of April 2020, the EU Security and Justice Sub-committee's membership is:[12]

Member Party
Lord Ricketts (Chair) Crossbench
Lord Anderson of Ipswich Crossbench
Lord Anderson of Swansea  Labour
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom Conservative
Lord Dholakia Liberal Democrat
Baroness Finn Conservative
Baroness Goudie Labour
Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat
Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate  Conservative
Lord Lexden Conservative
Lord Polak Conservative
Baroness Primarolo Labour
Lord Rowlands Labour


The EU Services Sub-committee considers policies related to the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union in the areas of trading in financial and non-financial services, as well as science, education, and culture. The sub-committee largely replaces the previous sub-committee on Financial Affairs with additional roles from the sub-committee on Home Affairs.

As of January 2021, the EU Services Sub-committee's membership is:[13]

Member Party
Baroness Donaghy (Chair) Labour
Lord Bruce of Bennachie Liberal Democrat
Baroness Couttie Conservative
Lord Davies of Stamford Labour
Lord McNally Liberal Democrat
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Conservative
Baroness Prashar Crossbench
Lord Sharkey Liberal Democrat
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd  Crossbench
Viscount Trenchard Conservative
Lord Vaux of Harrowden Crossbench

External links

  • The records of the House of Lords European Union Committee are held by the UK Parliamentary Archives

See also


  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. ^ "EU Environment Sub-committee membership".
  10. ^ "EU Goods Sub-committee membership".
  11. ^ "EU International Agreements Sub-committee membership".
  12. ^ "European Union Security and Justice Sub-committee membership".
  13. ^ "European Union Services Sub-committee membership".