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Government should focus on positive vision for future EU reform

30 March 2016

The Lords EU Committee today publishes a report inviting the Government to set out a positive, inclusive vision of the UK's role in a reformed European Union ahead of the referendum on EU membership.

EU reform

The report, entitled The EU referendum and EU reform, examines the Government's objectives on EU reform, and how they evolved in the run up to the agreement reached by the European Council on 19 February. The report also reviews the Government's engagement with the devolved institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the extent of its consultation with stakeholders in developing its reform objectives.

The committee considers how the Government, in campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU, should present its vision of the UK's future role in a reformed EU.

The report concludes that the deal reached in Brussels was a "significant achievement", which justifies the Government in arguing that the UK has passed the point of integrating any further with the EU.

Key conclusions

  • The agreement reached in February 2016 gives the UK an opportunity to take the lead in arguing for a more flexible, dynamic and multi-layered EU
  • The Government's case for remaining in the EU, if it is to be effective, needs to be based on an inclusive and positive vision of the UK's role in the EU, rather than relying on narrow economic self-interest and fear of the alternatives.

A new settlement for the UK

The Committee today also publishes, alongside the report, a detailed letter to the Minister for European about the February European Council agreement on a new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union.

What next?

The Committee has invited the Government to respond to the report, and a debate will be held at a date to be confirmed.

Further information

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