Documents considered by the Committee on 27 June 2018 Contents

Meeting Summary

The Committee looks at the significance of EU proposals and decides whether to clear the document from scrutiny or withhold clearance and ask questions of the Government. The Committee also has the power to recommend documents for debate.

Brexit-related issues

The Committee is now looking at documents in the light of the UK decision to withdraw from the EU. Issues are explored in greater detail in report chapters and, where appropriate, in the summaries below.

Summary

Justice Programme

The proposed Justice programme would continue the current programme’s development of an integrated EU justice area and cross-border judicial cooperation through activities such as judicial training. The UK does not participate in the current programme on the grounds of insufficient “value for money”.

The proposed Regulation has been drafted on the basis that the UK will not be participating because of EU exit. However, the UK’s Justice and Home Affairs opt-in applies. The deadline for the Government to opt-in is 11 September (with the 8-week period for the Committee to consider the opt-in expiring on 26 July). There is a third country option for the UK to participate in the programme after the transition/implementation period, but the financial cost for this is as yet unknown. Despite the UK’s current non-participation, the Government in its Explanatory Memorandum does not rule out UK participation in the new programme as a third country because it says that depends on the nature of any EU-UK agreement on future judicial cooperation. We note the relevance of recent developments: the EU’s slides on future EU-UK police and judicial cooperation and the Government’s publication of its slides on the “Future EU-UK Partnership on Civil Judicial Cooperation”. The Government is asked to give an early indication of its likely opt-in decision, preferably in time for us to consider before the Summer Recess. It is also asked to provide an estimate of the likely financial cost of the UK participating as a third country once the position is clearer.

Not cleared; request for further information; drawn to the attention of the Justice Committee

Improving cross-border law enforcement access to financial information

The Commission has proposed a Directive which seeks to improve cross-border law enforcement access to financial information and analysis to support the investigation and prosecution of serious crime. It complements the EU’s latest (5th) anti-money laundering legislation and would take effect at the same time—post-exit but during the transition/implementation period envisaged in the draft EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement. The Government says that the proposal is broadly in line with UK law and practice but raises two concerns: the possible encroachment on the decision-making autonomy of Financial Intelligence Units (responsible for gathering information and providing analysis on suspicious financial transactions) and the tight time limits for intra-EU exchanges of information. The proposal is subject to the UK’s justice and home affairs opt-in meaning that it will only apply to the UK if the Government opts in. We ask for progress reports on the negotiations and seek further information on the practical implications of the Government’s opt-in decision as well as the wider Brexit implications.

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested; drawn to the attention of the Home Affairs Committee and the Justice Committee

Water re-use for agricultural irrigation

In order to encourage greater re-use of water for agricultural irrigation, the Commission proposes a set of minimum requirements to establish a safe framework for water re-use. The Government considers that the proposal could contribute to an increase in the uptake of re-use schemes in the UK, where there is currently a very low rate of water re-use, and provide reassurance to the public on the safety of crops irrigated with waste water. We note that the Government’s analysis of the impact of this potentially significant proposal—which the UK may be obliged to implement during the post-Brexit implementation period, and which could also facilitate post-Brexit UK-EU trade in crops irrigated with reused water—is at an early stage. We look forward to receipt of the Government’s further assessment.

Not cleared; further information requested; drawn to the attention of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Documents drawn to the attention of select committees:

(‘NC’ indicates document is ‘not cleared’ from scrutiny; ‘C’ indicates document is ‘cleared’)

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee: Duty on alcohol, tobacco and fuel: EU excise reforms [(a) Proposed Directive (NC), (b) Proposed Decision (NC), (c) Proposed Regulation (NC), (d) Proposed Directive (NC)]; European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) [Proposed Regulation (NC)]

Defence Committee: US sanctions against EU firms with operations in or with Iran [Commission Delegated Regulation (C)]; European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) [Proposed Regulation (NC)]

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee: Creative Europe Programme 2021–27 [Proposed Regulation (NC)]

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: Water reuse for agriculture irrigation [Proposed Regulation (NC)]; Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain [Proposed Directive (NC)]

Exiting the European Union Committee: The European Citizens’ Initiative [Proposed Regulation (NC)]; European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) [Proposed Regulation (NC)]

Foreign Affairs Committee: US sanctions against EU firms with operations in or with Iran [Commission Delegated Regulation (C)]

Home Affairs Committee: Improving cross-border law enforcement access to financial information [Proposed Directive (NC)]; Preventing document fraud and identity theft [Proposed Regulation (NC)]

International Trade Committee: US sanctions against EU firms with operations in or with Iran [Commission Delegated Regulation (C)]

Justice Committee: Improving cross-border law enforcement access to financial information [Proposed Directive (NC)]; Justice Programme [Proposed Regulation (NC)]

Treasury Committee: Duty on alcohol, tobacco and fuel: EU excise reforms [(a) Proposed Directive (NC), (b) Proposed Decision (NC), (c) Proposed Regulation (NC), (d) Proposed Directive (NC)]





Published: 3 July 2018