Football: EU Law

Home Department written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative, North East Somerset

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) whether the UK could continue to provide information to other EU member states currently provided under Council Decision 2002/348/JHA if the UK ceases to be bound by that decision on 1 December 2014;

(2) what assessment she has made of the likelihood of the relevant authorities of other EU member states ceasing to provide information shared under Council Decision 2002/348/JHA if the UK ceases to be bound by that Decision on 1 December 2014.

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

A full impact assessment has been conducted on Council Decision 2003/348/JHA.

Details of this assessment can be found in Command Paper 8897

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/326698/41670_Cm_8897_Accessible.pdf published on 3 July 2014.

The UK could continue to provide information to other EU Member States if the UK did not rejoin this measure.

However, the non-systemised exchange of information risks member states not having access to, or acting upon, relevant intelligence on UK football fans travelling to their country.

This risks the safety of UK fans travelling abroad for football matches through inappropriate policing based on outdated information.

The relevant authorities of other EU member states could continue to provide information under Council Decision 2002/348/JHA if the UK did not rejoin the measure, but would not be using a formalised system of communication in order to do so. Information exchange between member states independent of the structure and obligations of the measure risks making it more difficult to guarantee appropriate high quality information. The lack of structure and obligations would make it more difficult to identify the correct agency with which to deal and could lead to a reduction in the quality and quantity of information exchanged.

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