This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 21 January 2011 by James Brokenshire and in the House of Lords by Baroness Neville-Jones.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for crime prevention (James Brokenshire): The Home Office and the Ministry of Justice have prepared the first annual Report to parliament on the UK approach to justice and home affairs policy following the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009. The report, which has been laid before the House today, is submitted on behalf of both my own department and that of the Secretary of State for Justice.
On 9 June 2008 the Rt Hon Baroness Ashton, the then Leader of the House of Lords, made a statement setting out commitments by the government to parliament in respect of the scrutiny of decisions to be taken by the government in accordance with protocol (No 21) to the treaties on the position of the UK and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice (‘the Justice and Home Affairs opt-in protocol’). These commitments were designed to ensure that the views of the scrutiny committees should inform the government’s decision-making process.
This included a pledge that the government would ‘table a report in parliament each year and make it available for debate, both looking ahead to the government’s approach to EU Justice and Home Affairs policy and forthcoming dossiers, including in relation to the opt-in, and providing a retrospective annual report on the UK’s application of the opt-in protocol’.
The coalition government has agreed to maintain this commitment, and this is the first such report. It covers the 12 months since the coming into effect of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009. For completeness the report also covers the application of protocol 19 to the treaties on the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the EU (‘the Schengen opt-out Protocol’). The government decision-making process for this protocol is the same as for the Justice and Home Affairs opt-in protocol.
Date: Fri Jan 21 14:28:57 GMT 2011