COMMONS

2014 JHA block opt-out: Home Office Measures inquiry announced

25 July 2013

The Home Affairs Committee announces a new inquiry into 2014 JHA block opt-out: Home Office Measures

On 15 July the House of Commons invited the Home Affairs Committee, along with the European Scrutiny Committee and the Justice Committee, to report by the end of October on matters relevant to the exercise by the UK of its right under Article 10(4) of Protocol 36 to the EU Treaties, to opt out, by 31 May 2014, of approximately 130 police and criminal justice measures which were adopted before the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force.

The Home Affairs Committee is calling for evidence to be submitted to it by 30 September 2013 to enable it to prepare a report to the House.

The basis for the Committee's inquiry is the information contained in the Command Paper, Decision pursuant to Article 10 of Protocol 36 to The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Cm 8671 (PDF 1.62 MB)) published by the Government on 9 July. This Command Paper sets out the legal and procedural factors governing any decision by the UK to exercise its so-called block opt-out. It also contains:

  • A list of 35 measures that the Government proposes the UK should subsequently seek to rejoin under the provisions of Article 10(5) of the Protocol (pages 8–12).
  • Explanatory Memoranda covering all the measures affected by the block opt-out, describing each of them and providing brief analyses of the implications for policy and fundamental rights of non-participation by the UK.

The Committee seeks written evidence addressing the following questions in relation to the measures referred to in the Explanatory Memoranda on Home Office measures contained on pages 13 to 121 of Cm 8671.

  • Do you agree that it is in the national interest for the UK to seek to rejoin any or all of those measures falling within the Home Office's remit which the Government has indicated that it will seek to rejoin?
  • Do you have any comments on the analysis of policy implications and fundamental rights provided in the Home Office's Explanatory Memoranda?
  • Do you consider any other factors should be taken into account in deciding whether the UK should seek to rejoin each measure?

The Committee is not seeking views on the question of whether or not the UK should exercise the block opt-out, which the House has already approved.

Submitting written evidence

The Committee invites written submissions on these issues by midday on Monday 30 September.

Each submission should:
a) be no more than 3,000 words in length
b) be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible
c) have numbered paragraphs
d) include a declaration of interests.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to homeaffcom@parliament.uk and marked "EU JHA opt-outs".

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies. 

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