The House of Commons held yesterday an opposition half-day debate on EU justice and home affairs measures, to further discuss the European Arrest Warrant. During the debate Bill Cash made the following interventions: ...continue reading

There has been widespread coverage of yesterday’s House of Commons debate and vote on the draft Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014, which are related to the Government’s decision to opt back into 35 EU police and criminal justice measures agreed before the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, including the European Arrest Warrant. The Government has promised a vote on whether to join the European Arrest Warrant however a vote was held on only 11 measures, excluding the EAW. Bill Cash, and other 37 MPs, voted against the draft Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014, which was approved by 464. The House of Commons endorsed therefore the Government’s proposal to opt back into 35 EU police and criminal justice measures, including the EAW. During the debate Bill Cash made the following interventions: ...continue reading

The House of Commons debates today the draft Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014. The European Scrutiny Committee, Home Affairs and Justice Committees in the Commons, and the House of Lords European Union Committee have been calling for the Parliament to have a genuine opportunity to debate and vote on the measures the UK should seek to rejoin. In fact, the European Scrutiny Committee has called for the Government to table a separate motion for each of the 35 measures it proposes to rejoin.

However, "The form of debate and vote proposed by the Government on Monday falls far short of the Committees’ expectations and, once again, demonstrates the Government’s cavalier approach to Parliamentary scrutiny of this important matter."

Bill Cash MP, Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, said
“When we embarked on the process of scrutinising the Government’s approach to the 2014 block opt-out decision, we did so in the expectation that Parliament would have a genuine say in determining the measures the Government should seek to rejoin. We do not accept that the motion tabled by the Government for Monday’s debate fulfils the Government’s commitment to engage constructively with Parliament, or its undertaking to hold a further vote in both Houses of Parliament before making a formal application to rejoin any measures. We expect Parliament to have a further opportunity to vote on the full 35 measures on the basis of an amendable motion or motions.”

While the UK is being asked to pay an extra and substantial amount of €2.1bn to the EU budget, the European Court of Auditors published its report on the implementation of the 2013 EU Budget. Unsurprisingly, as previous reports, it shows the EU spending continues to be affected by “material error.” ...continue reading

The European Scrutiny Committee published today its report “The UK's 2014 block opt-out decision: summary and update”.

Bill Cash, Chairman of the Committee, said, “When we published our major report on the block opt-out last November, I said that the Government had repeatedly failed in its duty to provide Parliament with timely and relevant information on this critical matter. Our Committee, along with colleagues in the Lords and on the Commons Home Affairs and Justice Committees, has made all the running in demanding – on behalf of Parliament as a whole – the information and analysis needed to enable Members to scrutinise the Government’s approach to the 2014 block opt-out decision.

“This latest Report provides Members of the House and the wider public with an up to date overview of and guide to this complex subject.

“As the vote in the House approaches we also take this opportunity to remind the Government that we have said there should be a separate motion tabled for each of the 35 measures the Government proposes to rejoin – Members have the right to a separate vote on each one because of the individual significance of some of the measures and the need for full and rigorous Parliamentary scrutiny.”

The European Scrutiny Committee reached the following conclusions: ...continue reading

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): Nicola Sturgeon this morning has called for a separate majority for Scotland in the event of an EU referendum, which is a reserved matter in respect of the Scotland Act 1998. Will the Prime Minister refuse her request—or demand—and will he also condemn the Liberal Democrats for what appears to be a veto over our referendum Bill? ...continue reading

The European Scrutiny Committee is set to inquire into the proposed increase in the UK contribution to the EU Budget.

Bill Cash said, “As Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, I am calling an urgent meeting of the Committee early next week regarding the proposed increase in the UK contribution to the EU Budget. We understand that this increase is based on a leaked Commission Document due for publication next month. I expect a Treasury Minister to appear before the Committee early next week to explain how long the Government has known about the proposed increase, what it has done about it, and what immediate action it now intends to take.”