European Affairs Committee

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40.51In 2021 the committee replaced the European Union Committee, which was first appointed in 1974.1 The orders of reference of the committee include ‘to consider matters relating to the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union and the European Economic Area’ and ‘European Union documents deposited in the House by a Minister’.

The committee has power to appoint a sub-committee and to refer to it any of the matters within its orders of reference. At present there is a sub-committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The committee has also appointed ad hoc sub-committees.2 The committee may co-opt any Lords Member to serve on a sub-committee.


  1. 1. LJ (1973–74) 184; HL 194 (1972–73); HL 62 and 139 (1974); Liaison Committee, Fifth Report, HL 193 (2019–21). The European Union Committee was known as the European Communities Committee until 1999.
  2. 2. For example, on Staffing of the Community Institutions, 1985, and the Intergovernmental Conferences, 1996.