Taxpayer faces multi-million pound bill as Theresa May details plans to opt out of 130 EU measures on law and order

 

The taxpayer faces a multi-million-pound bill after the Government announced plans to opt out of 130 EU measures on law and order, including the European arrest warrant.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, delighted Conservative Eurosceptics today when she confirmed plans to return power over a swathe of criminal justice and policing measures from Brussels to Britain. They include the sharing of criminal records and DNA samples between member states, as well as information about money-laundering and passport fraud.

The move caused fresh strains in coalition ranks and warnings that the country would suffer a large financial penalty as a result of exercising the opt-out agreed by the previous Labour government.

The Tories are hostile to EU powers for a European-wide public prosecutor and to force British courts to take foreign convictions into account.

Critics also say the arrest warrant is being misused as EU police forces invoke it to ask for the return of people facing relatively trivial charges. However, its supporters argue that it allows the speedy return of criminal suspects such as Jeremy Forrest, the teacher arrested last month by French police on suspicion of child abduction.

As Britain cannot pick and choose which measures it remains signed up to, Ms May said the Government’s “current thinking” was that it would opt out of the laws en masse and then “negotiate with the [European] Commission and other member states to opt back into those individual measures which it is in our national interest to rejoin”.

Nick Clegg blocked the Conservatives’ original plans to announce the decision at their party conference last week, fearing the agreement might be exaggerated to please Tory activists.

A Lib Dem source said: “It seems a bit odd to opt out of something when you know you will opt back into key parts of it such as the European arrest warrant. It’s just pandering to the Eurosceptics.”

In Brussels, diplomats believe Britain faces a bill of pounds for the administrative cost of pulling out of policing and judicial co-operation and then rejoining parts of it. Officials think there could also be a political price for Britain opting back into measures such as the European arrest warrant. The  moves would require the unanimous agreement of all 26 other EU members and some might emand concessions in return. For example, Bulgaria and Romania might ask for more freedom for their citizens to come to the UK.

A European Commission spokesman said: “The Commission will now assess the consequences of the cessation of the UK’s participation in those areas.”

Ms May’s move was welcome by the Tory Right, with Peter Bone praising her as a “star” and Dominic Raab declaring: “We want focused co-operation, not blind loss of democratic control.”

Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, accused the Coalition of sending out conflicting messages on the issue, adding: “It’s like the Government is playing a giant game of hokey-cokey and yet the fight against crime is at stake.”

She said there was no guarantee that the Commission and member states would support British requests to opt back in to individual measures - and also protested about the “financial penalty” the UK would face.

Ms May pointed out that Labour had helped negotiate the Lisbon arrangements, including the potential costs of opting out and in again.

Mr Cameron suffered a second setback on Europe yesterday when it emerged that a proposed banking union for the 17 Eurozone nations could see some rules and regulations imposed on the City of London against its will.  Although Britain will not join the banking union, its formation by the end of this year could influence decisions of the European Banking Authority (EBA), which sets standards for all 27 EU members. Under plans to be discussed by EU leaders this week, Britain would need the support of three eurozone members and two other non-euros to block proposals at the EBA.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?