UK to scrap 100 EU justice laws
2013-07-09 0:00

By Nikolaj Nielsen | EU Observer

The UK wants to repatriate 35 EU-wide police and justice laws out of some 130 in its wider efforts to claw back power from the EU.

“We believe the UK should opt out of the measures in question for reasons of principle, policy, and pragmatism,” UK home secretary Theresa May told ministers in London on Tuesday (9 July).

Tory-right wingers want to repatriate all 133 laws, but May said the UK should retain its co-operation with the EU police agency, Europol, and the EU’s joint judicial authority, Eurojust.

“We should opt in post-adoption provided that Europol is not given the power to direct national law enforcement agencies to initiate investigations or share data that conflicts with our national security,” she noted.

The European Arrest Warrant will also figure into UK’s provisional opt-in list but with added conditions to better protect British nationals of extradition to other member states in case of minor offences.


The UK has to accept all 133 measures, made before the Lisbon Treaty was adopted in 2009, or reject them all. If it rejects them all, it can then opt back into individual laws it wants to keep.

The decision must be made by June 2014 or all the EU laws, as of December of the same year, will be subject to oversight by EU judges as well as the European Commission’s enforcement powers.

“Following our discussions in Europe, another vote will be held on the final list of measures that the UK will formally apply to rejoin,” said May.

Some senior government officials see the move as part of David Cameron’s push for an in/out referendum on its EU membership.

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