The basis for the Committee’s inquiry was 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 2013.
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; and
- 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 Justice Committee sought written evidence addressing the following questions in relation to the measures referred to in the Explanatory Memorandum on Ministry of Justice measures contained on pages 122 to 141 of Cm 8671.
- do you agree with the list of measures falling within the Ministry of Justice’s responsibility that the Government proposes the UK should seek to rejoin after exercise of the block opt-out? Do you consider that the UK should seek to rejoin measures which are not contained in the Government’s list, or, conversely, do you consider that the UK should not seek to rejoin measures which are contained in the Government’s list?
- do you have any comments on the analysis of policy implications and fundamental rights provided in the Ministry of Justice’s Explanatory Memorandum?
- what is your assessment of the national interest involved in rejoining the measures for which the Ministry of Justice is responsible?
- 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.