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UK Justice and Home Affairs Opt-in

Volume 597: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2015

I wish to inform the House that the UK has opted in to a proposal from the European Commission for a regulation protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country.

The proposed regulation consolidates existing EU legislation (regulation (EC) No. 2271/96 and its subsequent amendments); it does not contain any new and/or substantive material and does not change the existing measure in substance. It can therefore be supported.

Although the proposal does not cite a legal base in title V of Part 3 of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union, the Government consider that there are Justice and Home Affairs obligations in Articles 4 and 6 of the draft EU regulation. Article 4 prevents certain judgments from outside the EU being recognised and enforced within the EU. Article 6 provides that the Brussels I (recast) regulation applies to proceedings brought under that article to recover damages.

These JHA obligations triggered the UK’s opt-in. The Government communicated their decision to the president of the Council on 15 May.