Friday

24th Nov 2017

UK to scrap 100 EU justice laws

  • May said the UK’s international relations in policing and criminal justice are first and foremost a matter for Her Majesty’s government (Photo: Paul Vallejo)

The UK wants to retain 35 EU-wide police and justice laws out of some 130 in its wider efforts to claw back power from the EU.

“We believe the UK should opt out of the measures in question for reasons of principle, policy, and pragmatism,” UK home secretary Theresa May told ministers in London on Tuesday (9 July).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Tory-right wingers want to repatriate all 133 laws, but May said the UK should retain its co-operation with the EU police agency, Europol, and the EU's joint judicial authority, Eurojust.

“We should opt in post-adoption provided that Europol is not given the power to direct national law enforcement agencies to initiate investigations or share data that conflicts with our national security,” she noted.

The European Arrest Warrant will also figure into UK’s provisional opt-in list but with added conditions to better protect British nationals of extradition to other member states in case of minor offences.

May wants to amend the Extradition Act so that people in the UK can only be extradited under the European Arrest Warrant when the requesting state has already made a decision to charge and a decision to try.

The UK parliament is set to vote and adopt the measures next week but opposition ministers say they need more time to examine the 159-page document that details the government’s full plans.

Others accused the home secretary of double standards over the government’s stated position on EU-related justice issues.

May had previously suggested that the European Arrest Warrant was not in the UK’s interest.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said “the home secretary has been forced to admit the truth, Britain does need the European Arrest Warrant, it does need joint-investigation teams, Europol, the exchange of criminal records, and help to tackle online child abuse.”

Other proposed desired opt-in laws include the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties, confiscation orders, and simplifying the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities with member states.

The UK has to accept all 133 measures, made before the Lisbon Treaty was adopted in 2009, or reject them all. If it rejects them all, it can then opt back into individual laws it wants to keep.

The decision must be made by June 2014 or all the EU laws, as of December of the same year, will be subject to oversight by EU judges as well as the European Commission’s enforcement powers.

“Following our discussions in Europe, another vote will be held on the final list of measures that the UK will formally apply to rejoin,” said May.

Some senior government officials see the move as part of David Cameron’s push for an in/out referendum on its EU membership.

MPs last week unanimously backed a bill that guarantees the popular vote by the end of the 2017. The opposition Labour party, however, boycotted the vote on the bill.

The commission, for its part, says it respects the UK government's choice to opt out, and welcomes the UK intention to also opt back into certain measures.

“The commission will clearly need to take the necessary time to assess the indicative list of proposals for opting back in that the UK has outlined,” said a commission spokesperson in a statement.

The commission will formulate an official position after it receives formal notice following the December 2014 deadline.

Official negotiations between the two have yet to start.

UK's EU referendum moves a step closer

Britain has taken another step towards an in/out referendum on EU membership after MPs unanimously approved a bill to do it by the end of 2017.

Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes

The former Bosnian Serb warlord was sentenced to life in prison for committing genocide and war crimes in Srebrenica and Sarajevo. Mladic is still regarded as a 'hero' among some Bosnian Serbs, in a country undergoing resurgent nationalism.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

News in Brief

  1. Rwanda may resettle 30,000 migrants from Libya
  2. EU tax haven blacklist may include Turkey
  3. No UK 'capital of culture' city post-Brexit
  4. EU sets up natural disaster rescue team
  5. Spain sends migrant arrivals to unfinished prison
  6. Iceland prepares for biggest volcano to blow
  7. Greek parliament postpones debate on Saudi arms deal
  8. Family of murdered Malta journalist to sue police

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. EU awaits UK proposals in final push for Brexit breakthrough
  2. Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP
  3. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  4. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks
  5. LuxLeaks trial re-opens debate on whistleblowers' protection
  6. Wilders says Russia is 'no enemy' ahead of Moscow visit
  7. EU must put Sudan under microscope at Africa summit
  8. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya