UK-Irish relations: what would happen after a UK opt out on JHA agreements?
UK Home Secretary Theresa May made a Statement to Parliament on July 9th stating that the Government intends to exercise an opt-out from 130 police and criminal justice measures. What will be the impact on UK-Irish relations?
Dáithí O'Ceallaigh, Director-General, Institute of International and European Affairs
Lord Hannay, former UK Permanent Representative to the European Economic Community
Charles Clarke, former Home Secretary
Protocol 36 of the EU Treaties allows the United Kingdom Government to decide by May 31st next year whether the UK should continue to be bound by approximately 130 police and criminal justice measures. Home Secretary Theresa May made a Statement to Parliament on July 9th stating that the Government intends to exercise an opt-out from these measures, and then seek to opt back in to 35 of them, including the European Arrest Warrant. She is now discussing with the European Commission how this might be done. There are reports that this decision is meeting with some resistance from Eurosceptic Conservative colleagues in the Houses of Parliament. An important impact of the UK’s decisions in this area will be upon the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland and co-operation between the UK and Ireland on security issues, including across the UK's only land border with the rest of the EU, in Northern Ireland. This Black Coffee Morning will address and illuminate the issues at stake.
Dáithí O'Ceallaigh is the Director-General of the Institute of International and European Affairs and an ECFR Council Member. Prior to this, he was the Irish Ambassador to the UN (Geneva) from 2007 to 2009, the Ambassador to London from 2001 to 2007 amongst other diplomatic postings. Mr O’Ceallaigh has also held a number of positions within the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs including as Consul General in New York and Head of the Anglo-Irish division in Dublin.
Lord Hannay was the UK’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Economic Community from 1985 to 1990.Starting in 1965 and continuing into the early 1970s, he was an official representative of the government in discussions that led to the UK's 1973 entry into what became the European Union. He served as the UK’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nationsfrom 1990 to 1995. Most recently he has taken on specialised roles such as Special Representative for Cyprus. He is currently a member of the Lords EU Select Committee, chairing the Sub-Committee on Home Affairs, Health and Education.
Charles Clarke was Home Secretary between 2004 and 2006 and has previously held a number of political appointments within the Labour Government as Secretary of State for Education and Skills and Labour Party Chair. Charles Clarke started his career as Chief of Staff to former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. He is a Member of the ECFR Council.