HC Deb 09 March 1993 vol 220 cc479-80W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions since 1987 the Government have bound the United Kingdom under international law by virtue of Ministers' prerogative powers; and on which of these occasions prior approval was sought from Parliament.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Ministers do not have prerogative powers. All treaties entered into by the United Kingdom are concluded by Her Majesty's Government exercising the royal prerogative on behalf of the Crown. Ratification of treaties only exceptionally requires prior parliamentary approval, but all treaties which are subject to ratification are brought to Parliament's attention by being laid before both Houses for a minimum of 21 days. If primary or secondary legislation is required in order to ensure compliance with obligations arising under a treaty, the Government will not ratify a treaty until such legislation has been implemented. The information sought regarding which treaties required prior approval or legislation is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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