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EU: Contractual Obligations

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

Statement

I am today announcing the United Kingdom’s participation in the European Community regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I).  The regulation will provide for uniform choice of law rules in contract for all member states (except Denmark) and will come into force on 17 December 2009.  The decision to participate follows the United Kingdom’s successful negotiation of the proposed regulation.  The regulation now improves on the 1980 Rome convention and will give greater legal certainty for business and consumers in Europe. 

I would also like to announce the publication of the response paper to the public consultation on whether the United Kingdom should participate in the Rome I regulation.  The consultation period ran from April to June 2008.  The responses received were almost unanimous in support of the United Kingdom’s participation.

As a result of the positive response to the consultation, the United Kingdom notified the European Commission and the Council of its intention to participate in the Rome I regulation.  The Commission, on 22 December 2008, adopted a decision to extend the application of the Rome I regulation to the United Kingdom.  The United Kingdom will be required to implement the regulation by 17 December 2009, at the same time as all other participating member states.

Copies of the Rome I response paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.