International Agreements Sub-Committee

The Select Committee is composed of nineteen members: the Chairman, the Chairman of the Sub-Committees and other members, all of whom sit on sub-committees. The EU`s Subcommittee on Security and Justice is examining the UK`s future relationship with the EU on internal and external security, including criminal justice, police work, data exchange and defence. The subcommittee brings together several aspects of the subcommittees on home affairs, foreign affairs and justice. At present, and referring to the above-mentioned control, British law does not control treaties at Westminster until agreements have been negotiated and signed. The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (“CRAG”) gives the House of Commons very limited power to delay the ratification of treaties, but it is too late to influence the outcome. The House of Lords can pass a resolution that a treaty should not be ratified under the CRAG, but in the absence of agreement from the House of Commons, the government only has to make a statement to Parliament to indicate that it believes that the treaty should nevertheless be ratified and explain why. And there is no mechanism for Parliament to refuse to approve an agreement that it says is not in the best interests of the country. But the examination of contracts is not just a matter of trade. Agreements may include safety, the environment and other matters of public interest. In the future, it will be essential that the UK Parliament is well informed about all new international agreements and that it has the opportunity to consult and get in touch with the stakeholders who will be affected by these agreements. It is also important for the government to intervene with dedicated administrations and legislators who have a legitimate interest in agreements concluded on their behalf, in particular when dealing with the competences conferred on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It will be important for the British Parliament to be well informed of all new international agreements, writes Lord Kinnoull.

| PA Images Over the course of next year, the government will negotiate important trade agreements with major economies around the world. . . .