European Statutory Instruments Committee

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38.71The European Statutory Instruments Committee was first established by temporary standing order in July 2018. Its role is to examine and report on the appropriate procedure for proposed negative statutory instruments laid before the House of Commons in accordance with paras 3(3)(b) or 17(3)(b) of sch 7 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 or para 8(3)(b) of sch 5 to the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020.1

The Committee has 16 members of which the quorum is four. The 2018 order establishing the Committee provided, innovatively, that it must contain at least seven women and at least seven men but this provision was absent from the order establishing the Committee for the 2019 Parliament.1A Committee members are nominated to the Committee for the Parliament. The Committee elects its own Chair. It may appoint sub-committees and refer to them any of the matters referred to the Committee. Such sub-committees may have any number of members and have a quorum of two. The Committee and its sub-committees may meet at any time (except when Parliament is prorogued or dissolved) and anywhere within the United Kingdom and overseas. They are assisted by Speaker's Counsel, and the Committee has powers to appoint specialist advisers.

The Committee and sub-committees may exchange evidence and documents and hold meetings with other select committees or sub-committees, including Lords select committees. The Committee also has the power to request an opinion from another committee (including a committee appointed to join with the Lords) within a specified time.

The relevant provisions of the standing order will lapse as the powers to make regulations under the relevant sections of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and under the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 are extinguished, lapsing entirely upon expiry of the last such remaining power.2

The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee performs a similar sifting role in the House of Lords.


  1. 1. See for example European Statutory Instruments Committee, Eleventh Report of Session 2017–19, HC 1795.
  2. 1A. Votes and Proceedings, 3 February 2021.
  3. 2. Votes and Proceedings, 16 July 2018; Votes and Proceedings, 17 March 2021.