Lisbon Treaty (No.1) — (1st Allotted Day)

Part of Business of the House (Lisbon Treaty) (No.2) – in the House of Commons at 3:47 pm on 29th January 2008.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Home Secretary 3:47 pm, 29th January 2008

My hon. Friend makes an important point about the route through which women are often trafficked, and she is absolutely right.

In negotiating the justice and home affairs chapter, the Government made clear their absolute determination to protect our common law system and police and judicial processes. We were clear that EU co-operation in this area should not affect fundamental aspects of our criminal justice system. We have achieved that outcome. The extended opt-in arrangements that we have secured mean that we have a complete choice as to whether to participate in any JHA measure. We have also ensured that the jurisdiction of the ECJ cannot be imposed on the UK in this area—it will apply only to the extent that we have chosen to participate in a JHA measure. As each proposal for new EU legislation on JHA comes forward, we will have the right to decide whether we participate in it. In many cases, given the importance of the issues in question, some of which we have touched on today, it will clearly be in the UK's interests to do so, but in others we have secured the right not to participate and not to have the resulting legislation apply to the UK. I have already explained the position with respect to the existing body of EU law on police and criminal judicial co-operation and the jurisdiction of the ECJ. The deal is significantly better than that under the defunct constitutional treaty and represents a huge negotiating success.

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