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European Scrutiny Committee publishes report on European Union Bill
The European Scrutiny Committee has published its fifteenth report of 2010-11, "The European Union Bill: Restrictions on Treaties and Decisions relating to the EU" in time for further consideration of the Bill in the Committee of the Whole House.
The Report explains how Part 1 of the Bill will apply referendum locks and other constitutional safeguards before further competence or power can be transferred from the UK to the EU.
It then highlights significant gaps in these safeguards, particulary in relation to amendments to the EU Treaties that are considered by the Governement of the day to be insignificant, or to apply only to other Member States, or to allow simply for the accession of a new Member States, in which case a referendum will not be triggered.
It looks at the potentially profound implications of the referendum lock for Parliamentary democracy and direct democracy, and its consequences for UK-EU relations.
The Report's overall evaluation and conclusions are summarised in the last chapter.