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EU Opt-in Decision: Civil Justice Co-operation Regulations

Volume 627: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2017

My right hon. Friend Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE, Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

On 9 June 2017, the Government opted in to a proposal to change the updating mechanism of three civil judicial co-operation regulations from the comitology procedure to the post-Lisbon treaty delegated and implementing Act procedure. These are technical adjustments that are part of a wider effort to modernise legislation, which the UK supports.

The relevant regulations are the 2001 regulation on taking evidence in other member states to allow for a court in one member state to request to take evidence to another; the 2004 regulation that created that European enforcement order; and the 2007 regulation on service of documents to allow the service of judicial documents from one member state to another.

The Government submitted the explanatory memorandum on the Commission alignment proposals (COM(2016) 798 and COM(2016) 799) on 13 February 2017. The substance and effect of these three regulations will not change, but become subject to the same updating procedures as apply to other, post-Lisbon regulations (a committee composed of representatives from all EU countries providing a formal opinion, usually in the form of a vote, on the Commission’s proposed measures). The underlying treaty base (now article 81 TFEU) and the relevant regulations were subject to the UK’s justice and home affairs opt-in.

These technical changes protect the UK’s position in relation to three important procedural instruments in the area of civil judicial co-operation and demonstrate the UK’s commitment to abiding by its rights and obligations until exit negotiations are concluded.