James Brokenshire announced, yesterday, that the Government has decided to opt in to the proposed European directive on attacks against information systems.
Bill Cash reacted to the announcement by saying:
“The Minister may not be surprised to hear that, as Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee, I do not agree with his assertion that this has been done in accordance with due process. The former Leader of the House of Lords gave an undertaking that, in matters of opt-ins, an indication would be given to the Committee in advance of their intention. That indication has not been given. The draft is still under scrutiny and is currently deficient, as the Minister has conceded. What is the point of having a scrutiny process if it is compromised by decisions taken in advance of that consideration in full by the Committee, which would no doubt have recommended a debate?”
“On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am gravely concerned about the manner in which the previous business has been dealt with. There appear to be a stream of such opt-ins in the pipeline, so I suggest that appropriate action be taken to ensure that at least the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee-myself-is given adequate notice and advance warning of any such statement, because the Committee has been effectively bounced, and that is not in the interests of the good order of this House, in the Standing Orders or in the spirit of the undertaking that the former Leader of the House of Lords gave.”