EU political integration

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on European Union political integration. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

30.12.2015EU reform negotiations: what's going on?
What's happened to the EU reform proposals that the Prime Minister David Cameron announced and on which the in-out referendum by 2017 will be based? "Technical talks" are taking place in secret between EU and UK officials, and very little information is available to shed light on progress. This note looks at launch of the UK reform agenda at the European Council in June 2015, bilateral talks with other EU leaders, EU institutional initiatives which might be relevant to the Government's reforms and other developments.
11.12.2015European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16: Progress of the Bill
This House of Commons Library paper summarises the progress of the European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16 through Parliament. The Bill received its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 9 June 2015 and progressed through Committee stage on 16 and 18 June 2015. Report stage and Third Reading took place on 7 September 2015. The Bill returned from the House of Lords on 1 December 2015.
24.11.2015The UK and the EU: reform, renegotiation, withdrawal? A reading list
By the end of 2017, after EU reform negotiations, the UK will hold a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union. This paper provides a reading list of relevant publications.
16.11.2015"Ever Closer Union" in the EU Treaties and Court of Justice case law
"Ever closer union" is an EU aim and is enshrined in the EU Treaties. Yet David Cameron would like to remove it - or to exempt the UK from it. This note looks at its history, its survival through several Treaty changes and its use by the EU Court of Justice.
13.07.2015The 1974-75 UK Renegotiation of EEC Membership and Referendum
Why did the UK Government decide to renegotiate the UK's terms of EEC membership in 1974-75? What was the outcome of the negotiations and what did the Referendum Bill say? This briefing looks at the Labour Government's renegotiation and indicates where there are parallels with the present Government's renegotiation agenda.
09.06.2015EU exit: impact in key UK policy areas
If the UK left the EU, would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal. In some areas, the environment, for example, where the UK is bound by other international agreements, much of the content of EU law would probably remain. In others, the government might decide to retain the substance of EU law, or to remove EU obligations from UK statutes. Much would also depend on whether the UK sought to remain in the European Economic Area and therefore continue to have access to the single market, or preferred to go it alone and negotiate bilateral agreements with the EU. This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change be if the UK left the EU.
04.06.2015Exiting the EU: UK reform proposals, legal impact and alternatives to membership
The UK will hold a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union by the end of 2017, after the Government has negotiated reforms which will benefit the UK. The Prime Minister is expected to outline these reforms to the European Council in June 2015. What might the impact be of a decision to leave the EU? How would the UK leave? Would the UK join a different grouping of states or go it alone? Would EU or UK citizens or businesses have any vested rights? This paper considers the background to the EU referendum, the withdrawal process, various legal and constitutional issues and possible alternatives to EU membership.
03.06.2015European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16
The European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16 requires the holding of a referendum on the UK's EU membership before the end of 2017. This paper provides information about the provisions in the Bill.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
16.03.2015Reforming the EU: UK plans, proposals and prospects
Prime Minister David Cameron would like to reform the EU and renegotiate the UK's relationship with it, before holding an in/out referendum in 2017 if a Conservative government is elected in May 2015. The UK's new relationship with the EU would be put to the electorate, who would decide whether the UK should remain in the EU under new terms or be the first Member State to leave the EU. This Note looks at what the Government is doing to tackle some of the perceived weaknesses of EU policy and procedures and looks at prospects for future reform.

Lords Library Notes

08.10.2015European Union Referendum Bill
This Library Note provides background reading for the European Union Referendum Bill, debated ay second reading in the House of Lords on 13 October 2015.
25.01.2013Debate on 31 January: Prime Minister's Speech on Europe
This Library Note provides a short history of Prime Ministerial speeches on Europe since 1970; outlines Government policy towards Europe since 2010; summarises David Cameron's speech and selected reaction to it; and considers some aspects of the proposed renegotiation and referendum. It concludes with information about trends in public opinion towards Britain's membership of the EU.

Early Day Motions

That this House commends Aberystwyth University's Department of International Politics for its project on Europeanising or Securitising the Outsiders? Assessing the EU's partnership-building ...
That this House notes that the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by all EU member states; is disappointed that the United Kingdom was promised a referendum but that promise was broken; ...
That this House calls on those hon. Members who have previously expressed the view that a referendum should be held on the Lisbon Treaty before or after ratification to clarify their ...
That this House notes that a new poll by ComRes, a member of the British Polling Council, commissioned by the Campaign for an Independent Britain, reveals that British people believe ...
That this House believes that, whilst visitors should be welcomed to our shores, immigration is a valid area of public policy and should be addressed calmly and honestly; notes that ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses

UK Parliament committee