European Union Bill — Clause 5 — Statement to be laid before Parliament — 24 Jan 2011 at 22:14

The majority of MPs decided that a Minister, rather than Parliament, can decide if a European Union decision involved a transfer of power or competence to the EU and so is significant enough to require both a referendum and an Act of Parliament.

Clause 5[1] of the European Union Bill sets out how a Minister of the Crown must "lay a statement before Parliament" if a treaty amending the Treaty on European Union or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is agreed in an inter-governmental conference.

The rejected amendment had proposed adding the following addition to the end of Clause 5:

  • (6) If the Minister's opinion is that the effect of that provision in relation to the United Kingdom is not significant the Minister must seek Parliamentary approval for his opinion.
  • (7) Parliamentary approval is given if-
  • (a) in each House of Parliament a Minister of the Crown moves a motion that the House approves of the Minister's opinion; and
  • (b) each House agrees to the motion without amendment.
  • (8) If the Minister fails to obtain Parliamentary approval for his opinion the significance condition is not met.'

This vote was in relation amendments to the Treaty of the European Union under made the "Simplified Revision Procedure" which allows the European Council to amend provisions on EU policies and internal actions as set out in Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union[2][3]

The rejected amendment sought to lay down a procedure that would have required parliamentary approval of the Minister's opinion if he thought a provision proposed under 48(6) was ‘not significant.’ The importance of this is that significant decisions which transfer competence or power from the UK to the EU in every case, require approval by Act of Parliament and a referendum.

Without the amendment, the bill as proposed requires a Minister to make the decision and give his reasons. The bill's explanatory notes describe the safeguard provided[2]:

Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alliance1 00100.0%
Con258 (+1 tell) 16 (+2 tell)090.5%
DUP0 1012.5%
Green0 10100.0%
Lab0 213082.6%
LDem50 (+1 tell) 0089.5%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP1 0033.3%
SNP0 5083.3%
Total:310 239086.0%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

John BaronBasildon and BillericayCon (front bench)aye
Bob BlackmanHarrow EastCon (front bench)aye
Peter BoneWellingboroughCon (front bench)tellaye
Douglas CarswellClactonConaye
Bill CashStoneCon (front bench)aye
James ClappisonHertsmereCon (front bench)aye
Philip DaviesShipleyCon (front bench)aye
Richard DraxSouth DorsetCon (front bench)aye
Zac GoldsmithRichmond ParkCon (front bench)aye
Philip HolloboneKetteringCon (front bench)tellaye
Bernard JenkinHarwich and North EssexCon (front bench)aye
Anne MainSt AlbansCon (front bench)aye
David NuttallBury NorthCon (front bench)aye
Mark RecklessRochester and StroodCon (front bench)aye
John RedwoodWokinghamConaye
Richard ShepherdAldridge-BrownhillsCon (front bench)aye
Andrew TurnerIsle of WightCon (front bench)aye
John WhittingdaleMaldonCon (front bench)aye

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