Britain plans to opt out of EU justice measures
(LONDON) - Britain intends to opt out of 130 European Union criminal justice measures, Home Secretary Theresa May told parliament on Monday.
Under an agreement by the last British government, London must pull out of all or none of the 130 policing and judicial co-operation measures agreed before the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon came into force in 2009.
"Operational experience shows that some of the pre-Lisbon measures are useful, some less so and some are now, in fact, entirely defunct," interior minister May said.
"Under the terms of the treaty, the UK cannot pick and choose the measures from which we wish to opt out.
"We can only opt out en masse and then seek to rejoin individual measures.
"The government's current thinking is that we will opt out of all pre-Lisbon police and criminal justice matters, and then negotiate with the (European) Commission and other member states to opt back into those individual measures which it is our national interest to rejoin."
May did not say which specific measures helped or hurt Britain.
The decision, which must be confirmed by May 31, 2014, will be subject to votes in both Houses of Parliament, with a clearer timetable laid out after the New Year.
The European Arrest Warrant is likely to prove a sticking point.
The Labour opposition party said there would be financial penalties for opting out and opting back in again, while requests to opt into justice measures might be refused.
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