European Scrutiny Committee Contents


17 Readmission Agreement with Cape Verde

(a)

(34258)

14237/12

COM(12) 558

(b)

(34257)

14235/12

COM(12) 557


Draft Council Decision concerning the signing of the agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

Draft Council Decision concerning the conclusion of the agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation

Legal base(a)  Articles 79(3) and 218(5) TFEU; QMV

(b)  Articles 79(3) and 218(6)(a) TFEU; QMV; EP consent

DepartmentHome Office
Basis of considerationMinister's letter of 6 December 2012
Previous Committee ReportHC 86-xvi (2012-13), chapter 8 (24 October 2012)
Discussion in CouncilNo date set
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionClear

Background and previous scrutiny

17.1 Our Sixteenth Report of 24 October 2012 describes the content of these draft Decisions, which provide for the EU to sign and conclude an EU Readmission Agreement with Cape Verde. Both draft Decisions are subject to the UK's Title V opt-in, and the Government told us that, in determining whether or not to exercise its opt in, it would consider the likely impact of the Agreement on immigration and the extent to which it supports UK policy objectives. The Government observed that there was very little irregular migration from Cape Verde to the UK and that the UK already had good returns arrangements. It suggested that there would be no operational benefit to the UK if it decided to opt into the Agreement, but that UK participation would be a means of demonstrating solidarity with other EU Member States.

17.2 We decided to hold the draft Decisions under scrutiny pending further information from the Government on whether or not it intended to exercise its Title V opt-in in this case.

The Minister's letter of 6 December 2012

17.3 The Minister for Immigration (Mr Mark Harper) informs us that the Government has decided not to opt into the draft Decisions on the signature and conclusion of an EU Readmission Agreement with Cape Verde, adding:

"[W]e consider there would be no clear benefit to the UK from participation. There is very little illegal migration from Cape Verde to the UK, and our existing good bilateral arrangements allow us to make returns there where necessary. It would be possible for the UK to seek to participate in the Agreement post adoption if these circumstances were to change."

17.4 The Minister notes that the UK's decision not to opt-in will not prevent other Member States from signing and concluding the Agreement. In order to facilitate this process, the Minister indicates that the Government intends to notify the Council of its decision as soon as possible, even though it is not required to do so until 25 December.

Conclusion

17.5 We thank the Minister for his letter. In light of the Government's decision not to opt into the draft Council Decisions on the signature and conclusion of an EU Readmission Agreement with Cape Verde, we are content to clear the documents from scrutiny.



 
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Prepared 2 January 2013