Chris Grayling strongly rejects European proposals


28 August 2014

By Elizabeth Bradshaw

After pursuing what many believe are unsustainable and damaging cuts to the UK legal aid system many will welcome Grayling’s defence of the UK justice system.

Among the measures the UK will opt out of are:

  • The European probation measure – Grayling argues the terms of this are ‘vague’ and show no signs of being able to work effectively and guarantee suitable supervision in their current form.
  • Common sentencing – a notion which Grayling states the Government has strongly rejected due to its intent on avoiding ‘Europeanising’ justice.
  • A European public prosecutor – many other EU countries have expressed doubts and raised questions regarding its suitability and function.

Similarly, the UK is to opt out of 130 EU policing and criminal measures, however, the Government have expressed an intention to opt back in to 35 of these that they believe will assist the UK in fighting serious and organised crime.

The Government is also believed to be intending to opt back in to measures including the European arrest warrant, Europol and Eurojust.

Grayling also stated an interest in co-operating with the prisoner transfer agreement measure, with approximately 1,400 prisoners currently eligible for a transfer. This is something he states can clearly benefit theUKby easing the burden on the current prison system.

The UK’s reputation will be enhanced, argues Grayling, by opting out of many of the measures as it allows the country to retain its sovereignty and maintain the UK’s reputation as one of the most respected legal systems in the world.

The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues. 

If you require further information please contact Peter Butterfield on 01245 228125 or email