The Bill aims to strengthen the UK procedures for agreeing to or ratifying certain EU decisions and Treaty changes. The Bill has been drafted in the context of new EU methods of approving Treaty changes and calls for more public and/or parliamentary involvement in such decisions.
- Provides for a referendum throughout the United Kingdom on any proposed EU treaty or Treaty change which would transfer powers from the UK to the EU
- Ensures that an Act of Parliament would have to be passed before a ‘ratchet clause’ or a passerelle (bridging clause) in the European Union Treaty could be used. In addition, if the passerelle involved a transfer of power or competence from the UK to the EU, this would also be subject to a referendum before the Government could agree to its use
- Enables the UK to ratify a Protocol to allow additional European Parliament seats for the UK and 11 other Member States during the current European Parliament term, and to legislate for the extra UK seat
- Provides for a clause that affirms that EU law takes effect in the UK only because Parliament wills that it should. This confirms the principle that Parliament is sovereign.