The government was required to decide by 31 May 2014 whether to:
- accept European Court of Justice jurisdiction and European Commission enforcement powers over all ‘third pillar’ justice and home affairs measures adopted prior to 1 December 2009, or to
- opt out of these measures (‘the 2014 decision’)
The Prime Minister informed the President of the Council of Ministers in July 2013 of the UK’s decision to exercise the opt-out. Following negotiations with the commission and the council, the government identified 35 measures it wishes to rejoin on 1 December. These were published along with impact assessment in ‘Decision pursuant to article 10(5) of Protocol 36 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union’ (Command Paper 8897). Negotiations at EU-level continue with the aim of finalising an agreement allowing the UK to rejoin measures on 1 December 2014.
The measures within scope of the 2014 decision range from the European arrest warrant and Europol, to setting out minimum standards that the UK has long since met. A full list (with an outline of each measure) is available in the attached PDF. Measures marked with an asterisk are those the government is seeking to rejoin on 1 December 2014.
On 15 October 2012, the Home Secretary announced that the government’s current thinking is that we will opt out of all pre-Lisbon police and criminal justice measures and then negotiate with the commission and other member states to opt back into those individual measures that it is in our national interest to rejoin. The government has committed to take a vote in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords before making a final decision. You can read the statement on parliament.uk under European Justice and Home Affairs Powers (15 October 2012:Column 34).