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Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in how many instances the Government have opted into a proposed measure presented to the Council of Ministers pursuant to Title V of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union within three months of its presentation to the Council in circumstances when the UK has not opted into the proposal beforehand. (318887)

To date the Government have opted in to one new proposal pursuant to Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.

Four opt-in decisions have been made since the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009. In the case of the amended Asylum Procedures Directive, the amended Asylum Qualifications Directive, and the Succession and Wills regulation the Government took the decision not to opt in. In the case of the fourth proposal for a Directive on Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings, the Government informed the Commission of their decision to opt in on 8 March.

In the case of the interim EU-US SWIFT agreement, the European Parliament voted against the proposal before the UK was required to exercise its opt-in. The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury has written to Parliament explaining these circumstances in more detail.