Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
European electric car battery rules could impact UK markets, investment
The European Scrutiny Committee has highlighted the impact that proposed European Union (EU) legislation on electric vehicle batteries could have on UK markets and on inward investments in the sector in the UK.
The ESC analysis comes in its latest regular report which sets out for Parliament and other interested parties the implications for the UK of new or proposed EU legislation.
In addition to the analysis of developments in the electric vehicle battery sector, the latest European Scrutiny Committee report includes segments on:
- the prospects and implications of moves to encourage minimum wage legislation in EU member states;
- how some EU funding streams to which the UK used to have access have been used to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic in various parts of the UK; and
- legal arrangements under international treaties for Northern Ireland to import timber.
The issue of electric vehicle batteries is important to the UK, even though it has left the EU, for three main reasons.
The first is that “rules of origin” agreed in the EU-UK trade agreement mean that batteries for electric vehicles will need to be made in the EU or the UK from 2027 in order for electric vehicles to benefit from import tax-free (or “tariff-free”) trade between the EU and the UK. This will become increasingly important if, as is already happening, legislation in both trading areas continues to encourage more environmentally friendly transport solutions.
The second main reason for UK interest is that the proposed EU legislation seeks to establish a “full life-cycle regulatory framework” for electric vehicle batteries. This full life-cycle legal framework would seek to ensure that battery raw materials are supplied sustainably and responsibly, that battery products are environmentally friendly and that once used the products are recycled.
If such a framework is established and enforced in the EU, and partly because the EU market is bigger than the UK market, it could encourage investment in the battery sector in EU factories rather than UK ones.
A third reason why the proposed legislation is important for the UK is that the new EU rules would apply in Northern Ireland under the so-called “Northern Ireland Protocol” – a part of the UK Brexit deal that came into force in January 2021 and is designed to avoid a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The European Scrutiny Committee asked the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Rebecca Pow MP, for her analysis of the proposed EU legislation.
She replied that the UK was considering the various legal implications and would continue to work closely with car and battery manufacturers across the UK to accelerate plans for a UK electric vehicle supply chain. The government, she added, had announced up to £1bn in funding to develop the chain for both production and research.
Latest News from
Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
Report published on the impact of COVID-19 on Parliament14/05/2021 10:05:00
The Constitution Committee publishes its report COVID-19 and Parliament as part of its inquiry into the Constitutional implications of COVID‑19.
All eyes on Government Heat and Buildings Strategy as Ministers dodge EAC recommendations to improve energy efficiency of homes13/05/2021 15:05:00
The Government’s response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes has been published today.
Treasury Committee comments on responses to Greensill inquiry correspondence07/05/2021 13:15:00
The Committee has received responses to the Chair’s letters. It is unable to publish these letters during Prorogation, but will do so when Parliament returns next week, ahead of the evidence session with Lex Greensill on Tuesday.
Committee receives Government response to key report on procedure after coronavirus restrictions07/05/2021 09:15:00
The Procedure Committee publishes the Government’s response to its detailed report setting out a procedural roadmap for coming out of the current lockdown.
Change the law now to ensure end to blanket bans on care home visits, urges Joint Committee05/05/2021 11:15:00
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has prepared a draft statutory instrument to lay before Parliament to secure legal protection for care home residents deprived of family visits, and therefore, their human rights.
Supply chain for battery electric vehicles inquiry launched04/05/2021 15:05:00
In the latest stage of its Technological Innovation and Climate Change inquiry, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) announces that it is to look at the supply chain for battery electric vehicles.
Privileges Committee publish key report on select committee powers03/05/2021 10:20:00
The Committee of Privileges publishes a key report on select committee powers, setting out preliminary proposals to ensure the committee powers to call for persons, papers and records can be enforced and that witnesses before committees are treated fairly.
MPs urge Government to level playing field for meat and seafood exporters30/04/2021 13:05:00
The Government must take a 'pragmatic' approach in discussions with the EU to reduce 'considerable' non-tariff barriers—including red tape and checks— that the new GB-EU trading environment has created for British companies.