Documents considered by the Committee on 13 November 2017 Contents

1Enhancing law enforcement cooperation and border control: strengthening the Schengen Information System

Committee’s assessment

Legally and politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested; we renew the recommendation (first reported by our predecessors on 1 February 2017) for the Government’s opt-in decision on document (a) and opt-out decision on document (c) to be debated; we recommend that the debate take place on the floor of the House; drawn to the attention of the Home Affairs Committee and the Committee on Exiting the European Union

Document details

(a) Proposal for a Regulation on the use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third country nationals;

(b) Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of border checks;

(c) Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Legal base

(a) Article 79(2)(c) TFEU, ordinary legislative procedure; (b) Articles 77(2)(b) and (d) and 79(2)(c) TFEU, ordinary legislative procedure, QMV; (c) Articles 82(1)(d), 85(1), 87(2)(a) and 88(2)(a) TFEU, ordinary legislative procedure, QMV

Department

Home Office

Document Numbers

(a) (38426), 15812/16, COM(16) 881;

(b) (38427), 15813/16, COM(16) 882;

(c) (38428), 15814/16, COM(16) 883;

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

1.1The Schengen Information System is the most widely used information sharing system for border management and law enforcement in Europe. It is seen as an increasingly important tool for identifying terrorist suspects and foreign terrorist fighters. The latest version of the Schengen Information System—SIS II—contains around 70 million “alerts” on individuals or objects likely to be of interest to border control, customs and law enforcement authorities. Alerts created in any of the 30 countries operating SIS II are stored in a central database and are immediately accessible to around two million end-users. Real-time access enables front-line officers to check the data held in SIS II and, if they achieve a “hit”, take any action requested in the alert—for example, arresting an individual who is the subject of a European Arrest Warrant (SIS II is the principal vehicle for sharing information on European Arrest Warrants) or seizing stolen goods.

1.2The Schengen Information System is an integral part of the Schengen free movement area. According to the Commission, “without SIS II, an area with no internal borders would be hardly feasible”. It considers that SIS II adds significant value to cross-border law enforcement cooperation:

“No other law enforcement cooperation system generates as many positive outcomes or can handle as much information flow in real time with the result that, year on year, in all alert categories, hits have increased.”1

1.3The UK does not participate in the Schengen free movement area and is not bound by EU rules on external border controls, so is not entitled to access alerts concerning third country (non-EEA) nationals who are not allowed to enter or stay in the Schengen area. The UK does participate in those elements of the Schengen rule book dealing with broader law enforcement issues and can access all other alerts held in SIS II (described later in this chapter).

1.4The legal instruments establishing SIS II were subject to the UK’s 2014 block opt-out of EU police and criminal justice measures adopted before the Lisbon Treaty took effect at the end of 2009. In deciding to rejoin SIS II (thereby accepting the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice), the then Coalition Government concluded that real-time access to alerts held in SIS II would be more cost-effective and efficient than seeking information through bilateral arrangements or Interpol, increase the UK’s operational capacity to tackle cross-border criminality and reduce the likelihood of the UK being viewed as a safe haven for criminals from elsewhere in the EU.2 SIS II became operational in April 2013; the UK connected to it in April 2015.

1.5At the end of 2016, the Commission presented a package of three proposed Regulations to extend the scope of SIS II. The proposals are intended to close information gaps and improve the exchange of information on terrorism, cross-border crime and irregular migration so that “in the future, no critical information should ever be lost on potential terrorist suspects or irregular migrants crossing our external borders.”3 Three Regulations are needed to reflect differing degrees of Member State participation in Schengen but the Commission says they have been drafted to “work seamlessly together” to ensure the “comprehensive operation and use” of SIS II.4

1.6Taken as a whole, the changes proposed by the Commission are intended to strengthen border control and counter-terrorism efforts across the EU.

1.7Document (a) would create a new alert category for third country (non-EEA) nationals who have been issued with a return decision under the procedures set out in the EU Return Directive. The new alert is intended to increase the detection of illegally staying third country nationals and support EU-wide enforcement of return decisions. The UK’s Title V (Justice and Home Affairs) Protocol applies to this proposal, meaning that the UK is entitled to opt in, but it is far from clear how effectively the UK could participate in this instrument, given its connection to the EU Return Directive in which the UK has chosen not to take part.

1.8Document (b) would require Member States to enter an alert in SIS II whenever they issue a Schengen-wide entry ban under the EU Return Directive. The Commission believes that increasing the visibility of entry bans should make their enforcement more effective at the EU’s external borders. The UK is not entitled to participate in this proposal as it builds wholly on parts of the Schengen rule book on border controls which do not apply to the UK.

1.9By contrast, document (c) builds on parts of the Schengen rule book dealing with law enforcement cooperation which apply in full to the UK. It would require Member States to create alerts on individuals or objects connected with terrorist activity, introduce a new “inquiry check” to question terrorist and other criminal suspects and establish a new alert category for “unknown wanted persons” based on palm or fingerprints recovered from a crime scene. The proposal would also enable Member States to create pre-emptive alerts for children considered to be at high risk of parental abduction, enabling authorities to act before a child is reported missing. UK participation is subject to the Schengen Protocol. This means that the proposed Regulation will automatically apply to the UK unless the Government decides to opt out within the three month opt-out period. Should the Government decide to opt out, and the proposal takes effect before the UK leaves the EU, the UK would be at risk of losing its current level of access to SIS II.5

1.10The package of SIS II measures is also intended to:

1.11The Commission anticipates that it should be possible to implement the envisaged technical and operational changes to SIS II by 2021—after the date the UK is expected to leave the EU.6

1.12The previous Government published its Explanatory Memoranda on the proposed Regulations in January. At the time, the three month deadline for deciding whether to opt into document (a) and opt out of document (c) had not been established (time starts to run from the date on which the last language version of each proposal is published). The Government undertook to inform the Committee once the deadline in each case was known. It shared the Commission’s positive assessment that SIS II was an operational success and that there was scope for further improvement, but expressed concern that the Commission took too restrictive an approach to the sharing of SIS II information (for example, on decisions to refuse entry or stay) with countries not participating fully in Schengen and indicated that the Government would raise this issue in negotiations.

1.13Our predecessor Committee considered the proposed Regulations at its meeting on 1 February and recommended that the Government’s opt-in decision on document (a) and its opt-out decision on document (c) should be debated in European Committee B before the three month opt-in/opt-out deadline on each document expired. The Committee raised a number of questions—set out fully later in this chapter—and requested a response ahead of the debate. The aim was to:

1.14In a Written Ministerial Statement issued on 20 July—the final sitting day before the summer recess—the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service (Mr Nick Hurd) explained that the Government had decided not to opt into document (a) and not to opt out of document (c), meaning that the Government would be able to play a full part in negotiations on the proposed Regulation dealing with the use of SIS II for law enforcement purposes and (if it is agreed while the UK remains a member of the EU) have a vote on the final text. The Minister stated:

“The decisions announced here have no implications for our general opt out from the internal border-free zone established by Schengen.

“Until the UK leaves the EU it remains a full member, and 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.”7

1.15In a letter also dated 20 July, the Minister apologises for the delayed response and seeks to address the questions raised by our predecessors last February.

1.16It has taken more than five months for the Government to provide an initial response to the questions raised by our predecessors in early February. Even at this late stage the Minister does not indicate when the three month opt-in deadline on document (a) and opt-out deadline on document (c) expired, meaning that we are unable to determine whether the debate recommended on 1 February could have been scheduled in time for Parliament to inform and influence the Government’s decision. This lack of information contradicts the clear commitment given by the then Minister for Policing and the Fire Service (Brandon Lewis) in January to inform us of the deadline “as soon as we become aware of it”.8 We might have been more forgiving had the Government not decided to publish its Written Ministerial Statement on UK participation in these proposals on the last sitting day before the summer recess, further reducing the opportunity for Parliament to question the Government’s position. We seek the Minister’s assurance that the Government will:

We also ask him to explain why the Government failed to do so in relation to the Commission’s SIS II reform package.9

1.17As our predecessors’ Report indicated, the Government’s decision to participate in any element of the Commission’s SIS II reform package only makes sense if the Government wishes to remain part of, or seek special access to, SIS II post-Brexit, not least because the changes proposed are only likely to take effect after the UK leaves the EU. The Minister makes clear that the Government’s decision to remain bound by document (c)—the proposed Regulation on the use of SIS II for law enforcement purposes—is intended to “demonstrate our commitment to continued cooperation on security and law enforcement after we leave”. Whilst we do not doubt that commitment, it is no longer tenable for the Government to continue asserting that “it would be wrong to set out unilateral positions on specific measures in advance of negotiations”, especially now that negotiations are underway and the constraints on securing an agreement on future data-sharing arrangements are becoming clearer. We can see no reason for the Government to continue to duck the issue. We ask the Minister to confirm that the Government intends to seek some form of participation in SIS II post-Brexit.

1.18Turning to the possible constraints, we highlight the following:

1.19Given these constraints, we ask the Minister to explain:

1.20We would welcome the Minister’s assessment of the mechanism provided for in the agreement associating Iceland and Norway with Schengen which requires both countries to report annually on the way in which their courts have applied and interpreted the Schengen rule book, “as interpreted by the Court of Justice”, with a view to avoiding any “substantial difference” in case law and ensuring “a uniform application and interpretation”.11 Does he consider that a similar mechanism which avoids “direct CJEU jurisdiction” would be an acceptable model for the UK? Does he accept that, under this model, UK courts would in practice have to follow the rulings of the Court of Justice or risk losing access to SIS II data?

1.21Our predecessors noted that all three proposed Regulations require compliance with EU data protection laws and with fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill makes clear that the EU Charter will not form part of domestic law “on or after exit day”.12 Nonetheless, our predecessors suggested that the EU might insist that EU-type protections (the EU Charter or similar) should continue to apply as a condition of access to SIS II, since any action taken by UK law enforcement authorities on the basis of an alert in SIS II (such as questioning or detaining a suspect in the UK who is an EU citizen) might engage rights protected by the Charter. We ask the Minister to address this concern.

1.22We agree with our predecessors that the Government’s decision to remain bound by document (c) and the wider implications of the Commission’s SIS II reform package for future law enforcement cooperation and data-sharing arrangements post-Brexit are of sufficient importance to warrant a debate. The debate should be on the same terms as the one recommended in February, meaning that it should focus on the case for and against participating in SIS II and the wider Brexit implications of the Government’s opt-in and opt-out decisions without clearing the proposed Regulations from scrutiny. We consider that the debate will attract particularly strong Parliamentary interest and should take place on the floor of the House. We expect the Government to provide the information we have requested ahead of the debate and to make up for lost time by scheduling it at the earliest opportunity. We draw this chapter to the attention of the Home Affairs Committee and the Committee on Exiting the European Union.

Full details of the documents

(a) Proposal for a Regulation on the use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third country nationals: (38426), 15812/16, COM(16) 881; (b) Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of border checks, amending Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006: (38427), 15813/16, COM(16) 882; (c) Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, amending Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1986/2006, Council Decision 2007/533/JHA and Commission Decision 2010/261/EU: (38428), 15814/16, COM(16) 883.

Background

1.23The Schengen Information System was established in 1995 to compensate for the removal of internal border controls within the Schengen free movement area. SIS II provides for the creation of alerts on the following individuals and objects:

1.24The purpose of an alert is to enable the relevant authorities to locate and identify a particular individual or object and to provide clear instructions on any follow-up action to be taken. SIS II contains biographical information on individuals who are the subject of an alert and (where available) photographs and fingerprints. It can only be accessed by designated national authorities responsible for border control, police and customs checks, vehicle registration, and criminal prosecutions. The EU’s crime-fighting agencies, Europol and Eurojust, are also able to access alert categories which are relevant to their functions.

1.25A “hit” in SIS II means that an individual or object has been found and further action (as specified in the alert) can be taken or additional information requested from the national SIRENE Bureaux which operate around the clock in each participating country.13 The National Crime Agency performs this role in the UK. Since SIS II began operations in April 2013, there has been a steady increase in hits against all alert categories.

1.26Currently 23 EU Member States and four non-EU countries associated with Schengen (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) apply the full Schengen rule book and participate in all aspects of SIS II covering both border control and law enforcement. The UK only participates in the law enforcement elements of SIS II; Ireland is preparing to do so. Bulgaria and Romania similarly only operate SIS II for law enforcement purposes but will also use it for border control once they are fully integrated into the Schengen free movement area. Cyprus is also preparing to integrate into SIS II but has not yet done so.

The Minister’s letter of 20 July 2017

Document (a)—the proposed Regulation on the use of SIS II for the return of illegally staying third country nationals

1.27Our predecessors noted that this proposal would create a new category of alert on return decisions and was closely linked with Member States’ implementation of the EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC) in which the UK does not participate. They suggested that the benefits of opting in were difficult to ascertain, since it was unclear how much access the UK would have to alerts on return decisions created by other Member States and whether the UK would be able to create and circulate through SIS II decisions to remove or deport non-EEA nationals based on its own domestic immigration law. The Government was asked to seek “urgent clarification” from the Commission and report back at the earliest opportunity,

1.28The Minister explains that the Government has sought to clarify with the Commission how “key aspects” of the proposed Regulation would relate to the EU Return Directive:

“The Commission has stated that the draft Regulation would, in some instances, allow Member States to circulate alerts that are based on removal decisions taken on a basis other than the Return Directive, but only in circumstances where the Directive itself does not require its provisions to be applied (principally removals following refusal of entry at the border and removals that take place as, or as a consequence of, a criminal sanction).

“The question of whether the UK would be able to receive alerts created by Member States on the basis of returns decisions made under the conditions of the Schengen Border Code is yet to be discussed.

“The Commission has advised that an alert would need to be deleted from the system, and so would no longer be visible to other Member States, once the subject left a Member State that was bound by the Return Directive, to travel to a country (whether or not an EU Member State) that did not apply the Directive.”

1.29Based on these clarifications, the Minister confirms that the Government has decided not to opt in to the proposed Regulation, largely on the grounds that the UK could not opt in without also opting in to the EU Return Directive. This would bring the UK’s returns process within the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice:

“Although in principle there would be some benefit in knowing whether individuals seeking entry to the UK (or who had come here illegally) had been ordered to leave another Member State, it is the Commission’s firm view that the UK cannot participate in this measure without also opting in to Directive 2008/115/EC (‘the Return Directive’). The Government has no intention of doing that as it would pose a risk to national control over how we remove people with no right to be here, and would place our returns process under the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

1.30The Minister adds that there is some debate over the appropriate legal base for the proposed Regulation:

“The Council Working Group that is negotiating the proposal met most recently on 5 July, when it considered arguments that the proposal should have its legal base solely in the border control aspects of the Schengen acquis. The Commission has resisted this approach, and the Council has not yet taken a decision on it. We will keep the Committee informed of any developments.”

Document (c)—the proposed Regulation on law enforcement cooperation

1.31Our predecessors noted that this proposal would make a number of important changes to those parts of SIS II in which the UK currently participates. They considered that many of the areas of concern identified by the Government, such as the introduction of “a hard 12-hour deadline” to respond to requests for supplementary information, could be resolved during negotiations, but that others were more fundamental. In particular, the Government said it did not support the Commission’s proposal to make it mandatory to create an alert on an individual or object sought in connection with a terrorist offence on the grounds that Member States should have discretion over the creation of alerts. The Government also considered that some of the proposed new rules specifying the purposes for which SIS II data might be processed were too restrictive. The Committee asked the Government:

1.32The Minister confirms that the Government has decided not to opt out of this proposal. As a consequence, the UK will be bound by any changes agreed, provided they take effect before the UK leaves the EU:

“The Government believes that the UK has benefitted from its participation in SIS II since we joined it in April 2015. As the Explanatory Memorandum explains, we consider that many of the proposals in the new Regulation will enhance the system’s capabilities. While there are some proposals we do not support, the Government believes we will be in a better position to negotiate the changes we want by not opting out and remaining full participants in the negotiation.”

1.33The Minister says that the Government has made “encouraging progress in resisting the Commission’s proposal to make it mandatory to create an alert on an individual or object sought in connection with [a] terrorist offence”, adding:

“We received considerable support for our concerns from other Member States, and the former Maltese Presidency proposed a compromise text providing that Member States would not need to create an alert where to do so would obstruct official or legal inquiries or procedure related to public or national security. We are content with that stance.”

1.34On the broader question of how information contained in SIS alerts may be used, the Minister observes:

“The question of the use to which the information in SIS alerts can be put has not yet been resolved. As with the Council Decision it replaces, the text allows an alert to be used for purposes other than those for which it was entered where there is a need to prevent an imminent serious threat to public policy and public security, on serious grounds of national security or for the prevention of serious crime (Article 53(6)). But the Member State that created the alert must still give permission to use the data as requested.

“The circumstances in which it would in principle be possible to use the information for other purposes (preventing an imminent serious risk to public policy or public security, serious grounds of national security or to prevent a serious crime) are by definition situations in which it is necessary to act very quickly. We therefore think a universal requirement for prior authorisation is unworkable, and understand that the procedure for seeking permission to use alert information for different purposes is hardly ever used at present.

“We therefore believe the text should be amended to provide that the Member State that created the alert can specify that its prior authorisation is needed before the information in question is used for any other purpose (this is necessary because Member States own the data they place on SIS II and so should always be entitled to limit its use). If it does not however, the Member State in which the hit took place should be able to use the information for other purposes, without prior authorisation, where the other conditions currently set out in Article 53(6) of the draft Regulation are met.”

1.35The Minister notes that one of the Commission’s objectives in proposing changes to SIS II is to close information gaps, but says that this does not justify “reducing Member States’ control over the information they own”. He undertakes to provide further updates as negotiations progress.

UK participation in SIS II post-Brexit

1.36Our predecessors noted that the Commission’s SIS II reform package was unlikely to take effect before the UK leaves the EU—the Government expects the negotiations to last around two years and the Commission believes that it will take until 2021 to implement the technical and operational changes required to upgrade SIS II. Given this timescale, the Committee could see no reason why the Government would contemplate opting into document (a) or remaining bound by, and not opting out of, document (c) unless it intended to secure some form of continuing participation in SIS II post-Brexit. The Committee expressed frustration at the Government’s unwillingness to indicate which EU data sharing instruments it wished to remain part of, or have special access to, when the UK leaves the EU or to engage with Parliament on how any new access arrangements could be achieved and made clear that this question could no longer be ducked. The Government was asked to explain:

1.37The Minister makes clear that “discussions on the SIS II reform package are separate from negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU” but adds that “by continuing to work with our EU partners in the development of SIS II we demonstrate our commitment to continued cooperation on security and law enforcement after we leave”.

1.38Turning to future arrangements, he observes:

“You will be aware that our current participation in SIS II is based on our membership of the EU and that the only non-EU countries that also participate are members of the Schengen border-free zone. The UK will not join the Schengen border-free zone but we will be in a unique position as a former EU Member State and we will seek a relationship with the EU that reflects that unique position. We are exploring options for cooperation arrangements once the UK has left the EU but it would be wrong to set out unilateral positions on specific measures in advance of negotiations.”

1.39Our predecessors noted that all three proposed Regulations would require compliance with EU data protection laws and with the fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Whilst the Government had confirmed that the UK would be compliant with new EU data protection rules by May 2018, the date on which they are to be implemented in Member States, it had not addressed the risk that any divergence in EU and UK data protection requirements post-Brexit might impede or prevent ongoing UK access to SIS II. The Committee asked the Government:

1.40The Minister reiterates the Government’s commitment to “bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK” so that “our laws will be interpreted by judges, not in Luxembourg, but in courts across this country”. He continues:

“We are confident that continuing cooperation with the EU in tackling cross-border crime and keeping our people safe can be achieved while ending jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in the UK. The EU has existing agreements on access to law enforcement and security tools and measures with countries such as Norway and Iceland, to which direct CJEU jurisdiction does not apply.”

1.41On data protection, the Minister comments:

“The Government is clear that we want to continue to be a strong partner to our European allies in the area of data sharing for the purpose of law enforcement cooperation.

“The UK already has robust data protection safeguards in place in line with existing EU law requirements. Mutually acceptable data protection provisions that support our future relationship will need to be agreed as part of our negotiations with the EU.

“Meanwhile, EU data protection law (Regulation 45/2001/EC for data processed centrally and, as appropriate Regulation 679/2016/EU or Directive 680/2016/EU for data processed by Member States) will apply to the processing of data for SIS II purposes, and we consider that this provides for an adequate standard. In addition, the Proposed Police Cooperation Regulation sets out appropriate provisions for data subjects to have access to personal data and have errors rectified, and providing for national data protection authorities and the European Data Protection Supervisor to cooperate in ensuring that the rules are respected.”

1.42Our predecessors asked the Government how changes to the UK’s national SIS II infrastructure would be funded if the Government were to decide to participate in documents (a) and/or (c) and sought confirmation that the UK would not be required to commit to any expenditure to implement the changes proposed unless or until the question of the UK’s access to SIS II post-Brexit had been resolved.

1.43The Minister responds:

“As the question of whether the UK will participate in individual measures, such as SIS II, will be decided during negotiations on our future relationship with the EU, it is not currently possible to predict what our relationship will look like, so would not be appropriate to speculate on the details of our future participation such as the costs borne by the UK. The UK remains a member of the EU and decisions we make now on our participation in SIS II must be agreed on that basis. Our relationship with the EU will, of course, change when we leave. Any future UK participation in SIS II, and any costs relating to that, will be agreed during negotiations.”

1.44Finally, our predecessors noted that following Brexit, UK citizens would be third country nationals for the purposes of EU law and exposed to the risk that alerts relating to their immigration status may be entered in SIS II. The Commission considered that the proposed Regulations included “extensive and robust safeguards for the use of biometric identifiers to avoid innocent persons being inconvenienced” as well as guaranteeing a right to effective remedies.15 The Committee asked whether the Government had made its own assessment of the impact of the proposals on UK citizens post-Brexit and whether it was satisfied that there were sufficiently robust safeguards and that UK citizens would have ready access to effective remedies.

1.45The Minister says he is:

“satisfied that the draft Borders Regulation contains adequate provisions and procedural safeguards to protect third country nationals’ personal data, and to give them an effective remedy against being subjected wrongly to a ‘refusal of entry’ alert.

“Refusal of entry alerts will only be able to be created if an entry ban has been imposed on a person under the terms of the Returns Directive (see Article 3(m) of the draft Borders Regulation). Article 13 of the Returns Directive requires participating states to allow third country nationals to appeal against a decision to impose an entry ban, or to seek a review of it, before ‘a competent judicial or administrative authority or a competent body composed of members who are impartial and who enjoy safeguards of independence’. We are satisfied that this provides third country nationals with an adequate safeguard against incorrect decisions.”

Previous Committee Reports

Thirtieth Report HC 71–xxviii (2016–17), chapter 1 (1 February 2017).


1 See p.9 of the Commission’s evaluation report, Council document 15810/16.

2 See pp. 45–74 of Command Paper 8897 published in July 2014.

3 See the European Commission’s press release on the proposed Regulations, issued on 21 December 2016, as well as its Fact Sheet and its infographic.

4 See p.3 of document (c).

5 See Article 5 of Protocol 19 on the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the European Union. If the UK were to opt out, it would be for the Council, European Council (or, if neither acts) the Commission to decide whether the UK could maintain its current level of access to SIS II. In reaching a decision, the EU institutions would be bound to “seek to retain the widest possible means of participation of the Member State concerned”—in this case, the UK—“without seriously affecting the practical operability of the various parts of the Schengen acquis, while respecting their coherence”.

6 See the Commission’s Fact Sheet, Security Union: Technical and operational updates of the Schengen Information System—Questions & Answers.

7 See the Minister’s Written Ministerial Statement of 20 July 2017 on the Second Generation Schengen Information System, Hansard, 64WS.

8 See paras 9 and 11 of his Explanatory Memoranda on documents (a) and (c) submitted in January.

9 See the Code of Practice (annex S of Cabinet Office guidance on parliamentary scrutiny of EU documents) and the Written Ministerial Statement of 20 January 2011 made by the then Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington).

10 Article 45 of document (a) and Article 62 of document (c).

11 See the Agreement concluded between the EU and Iceland and Norway on their association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis.

12 See clause 5(4) of the Bill.

13 SIRENE is an acronym for “Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry”.

14 See Article 45 of document (b) and Article 62 of document (c).

15 See the Commission’s explanatory memorandum accompanying document (b)—p.13—and (c)—pp.12–13.




20 November 2017