Announcement

Minister for Europe comments on first use of the European Union Act 2011

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister for Europe David Lidington explains why the first use of the European Union Act 2011 does not require a referendum in the UK.

This Treaty change will provide a solid legal basis for euro area members to set up the European Stability Mechanism to provide financial assistance to euro area countries in crisis.

The Foreign Secretary has today laid a statement before Parliament under the terms of the European Union Act 2011. In it, he states his opinion that the EU Treaty change Decision does not fall within section 4 of the EU Act and no referendum is required in the UK.

Speaking today the Minister for Europe said:

“This statement is the first stage in the enhanced public and Parliamentary scrutiny of EU Treaty changes introduced under the provisions of the EU Act 2011. As this Treaty change Decision relates to a provision that only applies to euro area Member States, it does not fall within section 4 of the Act and there is no requirement for a referendum.

“The UK supports the euro area’s stated commitment to do what it takes to ensure the financial stability of the euro area as a whole. The establishment of the ESM is part of that response. It is important that national approval procedures of this Treaty change now take place. If ratified by all 27 Member States, this will enable the permanent stability mechanism to be established by the euro area members as planned.

“Today, the Foreign Secretary has laid a statement before Parliament to the effect that, in his opinion, the decision made at the European Council of 24/25 March 2011 to amend Article 136 TFEU does not fall within section 4 of the Act and no referendum is required in the UK.”

The Minister for Europe’s latest video blog explains the act in more detail.