Labour ends public right to see MPs debate Euro rules

EUROPEAN regulations that directly affect British life will not be subject to public scrutiny after a vote by Labour MPs.

The Labour majority on the Commons European scrutiny committee yesterday forced through an end to its public deliberations.

The committee has one of the most significant jobs of any parliamentary panel, assessing documents emanating from the European Commission in Brussels, judging whether they are compatible with EU and British law. In the event of potential conflicts, the committee can send documents to the full House of Commons for approval.

Last year, the committee examined more than 1,000 documents and orders from Brussels, and in some cases, forced fundamental changes.

In a closed meeting yesterday, a seven-six vote reversed a 2003 decision to deliberate in public. Jimmy Hood, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, defied parliamentary convention to cast the deciding vote for secrecy.

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