Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 2nd December 1996.
European Council (Scrutiny Reserve)
Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list each (a) occasion when and (b) matter upon which Her Majesty’s Government have entered a scrutiny reserve at European Council meetings in the current parliament.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 November 1996]: The outcomes of European Council meetings are issued as conclusions of the presidency alone. The question of scrutiny reserves does not therefore arise.
In cases where the European Council reaches political agreement on draft legislative texts, it would be open to any Head of State Government to alert colleagues if these had not yet cleared parliamentary scrutiny. There is no central register, however, of the occasion on which this may have occurred.
Different arrangements apply for Council of Ministers’ meetings.