This Essay seeks to expose the complexity of the relationship between the United Kingdom (and Ireland, but the main focus will be the UK) and the European Union that resulted from the concessions made to the UK when the treaties of Amsterdam and Lisbon were negotiated: a right not to participate in the adoption and application of EU legislative measures in the field of Justice and Home Affairs ("JHA"), and the right to decide on a case-by-case basis to opt into such measures, following procedures reminiscent of the sophisticated rules of cricket. These concessions were made to allow the UK to preserve in particular the right to maintain controls on persons at all its borders and to conduct its own immigration policies. Its discretion to opt in or opt out has been somewhat restricted when it concerns measures belonging to or developing the "Schengen acquis." But that has not stopped the UK from displaying its interest in participating in some parts of the Schengen acquis, so far mainly covering aspects of cross-border cooperation in areas of law enforcement and criminal justice.This Essay presents the views of an optimist as to the possible prospects of a further UK participation-in the longer run-in other parts of the Schengen acquis, such as the EU's external border policy, common visa policy or expulsion policy, or the rules on free movement rights for legally residing third-country nationals.
Julian J.E. Schutte,
UK v. EU: A Continuous Test Match,
34 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1346
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol34/iss5/8