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Mr John Hayes - Home Office

Further to the Explanatory Memorandum I deposited on 29 June, the Government has decided not to opt in to two Council Decisions relating to signature of the new Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism and the 2005 Convention.

The Additional Protocol contributes to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2178 on Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts on tackling foreign fighters, which was unanimously adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations on 24 November 2014. It seeks to set a minimum standard for criminalisation of recruitment to, and receipt of training for, terrorism and the act of travelling abroad for the purpose of terrorism.

The UK participated fully in the development of the Additional Protocol and has legislation in place which is compliant with the requirements of the Additional Protocol and the Convention. While we consider there to be value in signing the Additional Protocol, I remain of the view that this is a matter for Member States and do not agree with the European Commissions assertion of exclusive EU competence.

Security is a matter for national governments and national parliaments. Whilst co-operation across borders is important indeed, often necessary it is for the UK to judge what is best done in our national interest. Not opting in to these proposals will ensure that the UK cannot be caught by any exercise of EU competence in this area, in line with the previous Governments decision not to opt back in to the EU Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combatting terrorism, as amended, under the Protocol 36 decision.

Mr David Gauke - HM Treasury

At the start of the last Parliament, the coalition set out its ambition to improve the tax policy making process through high levels of consultation and legislative scrutiny. That approach was welcomed by tax professionals, and more than 150 formal and informal consultations on tax changes took place over the past five years. The commitment to publish the majority of Finance Bill clauses in draft was also met.

This approach will continue into this Parliament. Following Summer Budget 2015, the Government has engaged with interested parties, seeking their views on more than 20 areas of tax policy for legislation in Finance Bill 2016. The next stage of consultation aims to ensure that the legislation works as intended.

Draft clauses to be included in Finance Bill 2016 will be published on Wednesday 9 December 2015, together with responses to policy consultations, explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes and other accompanying documents. The consultation on the draft legislation will be open until Wednesday 3 February 2016.


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