Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of
the Select Committee on the European Communities to Joyce Quin
MP, Minister of State at the Home Office
Thank you for your letter of 18 March. I understand
that in the event the Convention was not agreed at the Justice
and Home Affairs Council on 19 March. Sub-Committee E is continuing
its examination of the proposal and would be grateful for the
It appears that further consideration is being
given to the extension of the Convention to illegal immigrants.
The Committee would find it helpful if you could provide a note
setting out the background to and reasons for this proposed amendment
and explaining the legal and practical implications.
The Committee noted from your letter that the
Government would not oppose the substitution of the Commission
for a Member State as the "headquarters" for the central
database. The Committee would be grateful if you could explain
the implications, legal and practical, of this for the obligations
and liabilities (including those under Articles 7, 8 and 10) accepted
by the "headquarters" under the Convention. That explanation
could usefully deal with the position of the individual who suffers
as a result of misuse of data or other error by the "headquarters".
The Committee also noted that your letter did
not address the question of whether any Member States other than
Austria and Germany still had difficulties with the prosposed
Convention. It has been reported in the press that Spain has concerns
for a number of other Third Pillar matters, including the proposed
Convention on Driving Disqualifications and the Joint Action on
the European judicial network. What is the position as regards
the present Convention?
Finally the Committee decided to seek the reactions
of Justice and the Immigration Law Practitioners Association to
the proposed extension of the Convention to illegal immigrants.
I look forward to receiving your response to
I am copying this letter to the Chairman and
Clerk of the European Legislation Committee in the House of Commons.
2 April 1998