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Cross-Border Access: Electronic Access in Criminal Matters

Volume 648: debated on Monday 22 October 2018

Until the UK leaves it remains a full member of the European Union with all the rights and responsibilities this entails. The Government will continue to consider the application of the UK’s right to opt-in to, or opt-out of, forthcoming EU legislation in the area of justice and home affairs on a case by case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security, protecting our civil liberties and enhancing our ability to control immigration.

The Government have decided not to opt-in to the proposal of the European Parliament and the Council on European production orders and European preservation orders for cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters.

Law enforcement access to data held by service providers is an important issue and we support the underlying objective of improving cross-border access to electronic evidence. However, from the start of discussions on this issue, we have not supported the need for new EU legislation. That is because it is not clear that new EU legislation will be a practical and effective way to address the global issue of providing lawful access to data held anywhere in the world.