EU law and treaties

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on European Union law and treaties. 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

26.05.2016Reading list on UK-EU relations 2013-16: reform, renegotiation, withdrawal
The Commons Library has compiled a selection of books, journal and press articles, think tank, parliamentary and library publications relevant to the UK's renegotiation of its membership of the European Union. This reading list accompanies a series of Commons Library briefing papers on the EU reform proposals and negotiations by the UK, and a possible EU exit.
26.05.2016EU Referendum: analysis of the UK's new EU Settlement
This Commons Library briefing looks at the new Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union agreed at the European Council on 17-19 February 2016. The Settlement consists of seven texts: a Decision and a Statement of Heads of State or Government and five Declarations.
19.05.2016Brexit and the UN Security Council
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the competing arguments about the possible effects of leaving the EU on the UK's permanent membership of the UN Security Council. The UK is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Would leaving the EU strengthen the UK's position in the UN, have no direct effect, or result in a loss of legitimacy for the UN? What if it resulted in Scotland leaving the UK? Views differ; but the difficulty of amending the UN Charter makes any change to the permanent membership of the Security Council unlikely.
22.04.2016Examples of other referendums on the European Union
This Commons Library Note charts referendums held since 1972 on EU matters in candidate and Member States, and also in Switzerland on its relations with the EU, with brief details on turnout and results. It also outlines the positions of France and Austria on holding a referendum on EU enlargement, particularly with regard to a possible Turkish accession.
08.04.2016EU Referendum: the process of leaving the EU
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at some of the issues that are likely to arise for the UK during a withdrawal process and afterwards. A UK vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016 would trigger an untested procedure for withdrawal. There could be a complex and difficult negotiation lasting two years or more, or the UK could leave without settling its exit terms or its future relationship with the EU.
29.03.2016EU external agreements: EU and UK procedures
This Commons Library briefing looks at the procedures and some of the problems linked to treaty negotiation and ratification in the EU and the Member States, with particular reference to the UK. The EU concludes many international agreements with third States or international organisations. How does the EU negotiate these agreements and how does the UK scrutinise and ratify them?
29.03.2016EEA migrants: access to social housing (England)
Part 1 of this House of Commons Library briefing paper gives a broad overview of the law governing the rights of European Economic Area (EEA) migrants to access social housing in England. Part 2 considers whether there is any evidence to suggest that EEA migrants are able to 'jump the queue' to access social housing more quickly than other applicants.
12.03.2016Local authority boycotts
This note discusses proposals to restrict the ability of local authorities to carry out boycotts.
10.03.2016British Summer Time
For a number of years there have been calls to change clock times in the UK, so that more daylight would be experienced in the evenings rather than mornings throughout the year. The issue continues to be regularly raised in Parliament. This Briefing Paper provides an overview of the pros and cons of British Summer Time and proposals for further changes to clock times. It also summarises recent legislative attempts to change clock times in the UK.
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.

Lords Library Notes

12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
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.
12.12.2012Debate on 17 December: European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Bill (HL Bill 59) and European Union (Approvals) Bill [HL] (HL Bill 57)
This Library Note provides background information in advance of the second readings in the House of Lords of the European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Bill and the European Union (Approvals) Bill.
16.05.2012European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill (HL Bill 3 of 2012-13)
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill [HL] on 23 May 2012.
10.02.2012Debate on 16 February: Recent Developments in the European Union
This Library Note considers reaction to recent developments in the EU, ahead of the debate in the House of Lords on 16 February 2012.


15.07.2014Big Data and Business
POSTnote exploring how big data is being used by UK companies and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
Bioenergy is the use of renewable natural material for power, heat and liquid fuels. Currently, the UK sources approximately 3% of its primary energy from bioenergy feedstocks. This POSTnote considers the opportunities and challenges of producing bioenergy sustainably to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.
01.07.2009Environmental noise, July 2009
This POSTnote examines the effects of noise, the EU Environmental Noise Directive (END) and practical measures for noise management.
01.06.2009Crop protection, June 2009
The pesticide approvals process in Europe is changing. This POSTnote explores the potential implications for UK agriculture and horticulture and examines other crop protection strategies available that complement or compensate for pesticides.

Select Committee Reports

13.07.2011Reasoned opinions on subsidiarity under the Lisbon Treaty.
Procedure Select Committee report [Commons]
08.03.2011Amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
01.02.2011Implementing the Stockholm Programme: home affairs.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
11.01.2011EU Strategy for economic growth and the UK National Reform Programme.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
10.01.2011The EU Bill and Parliamentary sovereignty.
Government response. European Scrutiny Committee; Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House calls on the Government to give the British people a referendum on UK membership of the EU.
That this House notes the proposals floated by Germany and France to re-open the Lisbon Treaty in order to force Member States that find themselves in a severe financial crisis, as ...
That this House notes that the UK natural health products industry currently faces a grave threat both to its businesses and consumer choices from the unforeseen impact of implementation ...
That this House is concerned at the delay by the Government in depositing relevant papers with the European Scrutiny Committee; believes that following the entry into force of the Lisbon ...
That this House notes with concern that Article 69E, Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters, of the Treaty of Lisbon provides for the creation of a European Public Prosecutor's Office ...

Feature publication

The page highlights the analysis and comment on the in-out referendum and presents an impartial view of the different arguments and opinions.


  • 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