Following the Government’s announcement on Tuesday 9 July on the 2014 opt-out decision from EU police and criminal justice measures, the House of Lords EU Committee which conducted a comprehensive inquiry into this issue and published their report in April, have decided to reopen the inquiry to investigate the implications of the announcement.
In their report, the two Sub-Committees that conducted the inquiry – the Justice, Institutions and Consumer Protection EU Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Bowness (which is now chaired by Baroness Corston), and the Home Affairs, Health and Education EU Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Hannay of Chiswick – concluded that the Government had not made a convincing case for exercising the opt-out and that to do so would have significant negative repercussions for the UK’s internal security.
The Government’s announcement by the Home Secretary provided a list of the 35 measures that the Government would seek to rejoin should the opt-out be exercised. The announcement and the absence of this list of measures during the Committee’s original inquiry has prompted the decision to reopen the inquiry to further scrutinise these developments.
As part of the follow-up inquiry, the Committees will be seeking views on the following issues, among others:
- the measures included, and not included, in the Government’s list of 35 measures that it will seek to rejoin if the opt-out is exercised;
- whether the Government’s list of measures raise any issues of coherence, i.e. are some of the measures on the list connected to some not on the list that should be in order for them to work;
- any issues arising in the Government’s explanatory memoranda, including their assessment of the policy implications and fundamental rights analysis with respect to each measure; and
- whether the Government’s proposed reforms to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) at the domestic level are consistent with their desire to rejoin this measure, including the UK’s obligations under the EU Treaties and the EAW Framework Decision.
Written evidence should be submitted by Wednesday 18 September 2013.