European Scrutiny Committee, Press Notice No. 4

Select Committee Announcement

Committee Office, House of Commons, London SW1A 3JA
Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson 020 7219 1589


6 December 2007

ORAL EVIDENCE FROM MEG HILLIER MP, PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE (IDENTITY), HOME OFFICE

Meg Hillier, Home Office Minister, will be asked why she took part in a European Council agreement of a proposal affecting police cooperation while it was still under scrutiny by the House of Commons, when she appears before the European Scrutiny Committee next Wednesday, 12 December at 2.30pm in Room 16, Palace of Westminster.

The Minister, who is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Identity) at the Home Office will be questioned on two separate issues:

First, on 8 November the Justice and Home Affairs Council considered the draft of EU legislation about the rules which would apply if a Member State asks another Member State for the help of its special intervention unit to deal with a crisis ("special intervention unit" means any law enforcement unit which is specialized in the control of situations where a Member State believes that a criminal offence presents a serious threat to, for example, people or goods).

The Committee wishes to ask the Minister why she took part in the Council's agreement of the proposal when it was still under scrutiny in the House of Commons. In a Committee evidence session in April this year, Joan Ryan, a previous Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office was similarly questioned as to why the Government had taken gone to 'general agreement' with the European Council over another piece of criminal legislation, to do with the transfer of prisoners within the EU, again before proper scrutiny had taken place.

The second area of questioning to Ms Hiller arises from the European Commission's report on the way Member States have implemented the EU law on the European Arrest Warrant. The Committee wishes the Minister to explain in more detail the Government's views on the Commission's report and, in particular, on the Commission's criticism of the provision made in the UK to guarantee an individual's right to a fair trial.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

1. Committee Membership is as follows: Michael Connarty MP (Chairman), Labour, Mr Adrian Bailey MP, Labour, Mr David S Borrow MP, Labour, Mr William Cash MP, Conservative, Mr James Clappison MP, Conservative, Ms Katy Clark MP, Labour, Jim Dobbin MP, Labour/Co-op, Mr Greg Hands MP, Conservative, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory MP, Conservative, Keith Hill MP, Labour, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Labour, Mr Lindsay Hoyle MP, Labour, Mr Bob Laxton MP, Labour, Angus Robertson MP, SNP, Mr Anthony Steen MP, Conservative, Richard Younger Ross MP, Lib Dem

2. Transcripts of the committee's oral evidence session can be found on the Committee website at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmeuleg.htm

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, Tel 020 7219 1589, 07917 488488, e-mail: [email protected]

Specific Committee Information: [email protected], 020 7219 5467/3292

Committee Website http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/european_scrutiny.cfm

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk