Letter from Chairman to Home Secretary and Justice Secretary about JHA Opt-in scrutiny failures

17 December 2014

Lord Boswell, Chairman of the House of Lords EU Committee has written to Home Secretary Theresa May MP and Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling MP on the scrutiny failures in the handling of the recent Justice and Home Affairs EU opt-ins.


The Treaty of Lisbon gave the UK a right to opt out of the 130 police and criminal justice measures adopted before 2009—but only all or none. The Government opted out of all of them, with effect from 1 December 2014.

The Government opted back into 35 of these measures, including the European Arrest Warrant, and the Eurojust and Europol Decisions on 1 December, overriding the scrutiny reserve resolution. The resolution is in place to prevent any Minister agreeing to any document subject to scrutiny by the European Union Committee and to ensure that Council decisions have been properly considered by Parliament and by the Government.

The letter

The letter details the Government’s failure to abide by Cabinet Office guidelines in not making a statement to Parliament explaining their decision to over-ride parliamentary scrutiny of the EU Council Decision allowing the UK block opt-in.

It also sets out where the Government has not allowed proper time for parliamentary scrutiny of key decisions taken relating to the Justice and Home Affairs block opt-in.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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