The European Scrutiny Committee (ESC) is one of the most important committees in the House of Commons. It has more staff and MPs than any other departmental select committee. It scrutinises some 1,000 European Union “documents” – draft regulations, directives, Council decisions, budgetary documents – every year. It is highly visible on the European stage as it liaises with other member state European Scrutiny Committess under COSAC - the Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees of Parliaments of the EU.
It’s looking increasingly likely that the chair of the committee is going to be one of its most long-standing members – Bill Cash, Conservative MP for Stone. He was nominated unopposed by the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, and it’s the Conservatives’ turn to chair it. Barring a last minute realisation on the part of the Tory party that this would be a very bad idea indeed, he will likely be ensconced in that position next Wednesday 21 July for the next five years. Read full article »