Police: Football

Home Office written question – answered on 16th October 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, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the full jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice on how the UK deals with information received from other EU Member States about the policing of international football matches if the UK opts back in to Council Decision 2002/348/JHA.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the likelihood of the UK concluding memoranda of understanding or other similar agreements with other EU Member States to formalise the exchange of information about policing football matches with an international dimension in the event that the UK ceases to be bound by Council Decision 2002/348/JHA.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 5 September 2014, Official Report, column 466W, for what reason the relevant authorities of other EU Member States would not act on information pertinent to policing international football matches that was passed on by UK authorities in the event that the UK ceased to be bound by Council Decision 2002/348/JHA; and whether the UK ceasing to be bound by this Decision would be a material cause of such lack of action.

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 2002/348/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 Government has considered the potential impacts of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice very carefully and believes it is in the best interests of the UK to opt back in to Council Decision 2002/348/JHA.

The measure provides an established and functioning network that reduces the safety risks to UK supporters travelling to overseas matches. If the UK did not seek to rejoin Council Decision 2002/348/JHA it would be significantly more difficult for UK law enforcement agencies to share information with other Member States. The lack of structure and organisation could lead to difficulty in identifying the correct law enforcement agencies in Member States, thus resulting in other Member States failing to act upon information the UK has sought to provide. As stated in Command Paper 8897, Ukraine and Russia are prime examples of non-EU countries in which the UK has had more difficulty in sharing information.

The Government believes that Council Decision 2002/348/JHA provides the best means by which to share information relating to football matches with an international dimension. Details and an assessment of the alternatives are set out in Command Paper 8897.

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