HC Deb 10 July 2002 vol 388 c1019W
Mr. Hayes

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what powers the Government have to withhold their consent to decisions reached at the Council of Ministers; and if he will make a statement, with particular reference to the context of the European arrest warrant. [68331]

Peter Hain

The resolution of the House of Commons dated 17 November 1998 sets out the terms under which the Government may agree to legislative proposals in the Council of Ministers. The Government are required to withhold their consent to legislative proposals until parliamentary scrutiny has been completed. The resolution allows Ministers to give their agreement in certain limited circumstances before scrutiny has been completed.

In negotiations, the Government can withhold their consent to a proposal for legislative action by the Council of Ministers at any stage up to its formal adoption. However, opposing or abstaining on a proposal would not necessarily prevent the proposal being adopted if the voting was QMV.

On the question of the European arrest warrant, a general approach on the framework was agreed in December 2002. The framework decision was formally adopted at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in June 2002.

Forward to