Lords committee say UK should opt in to EU passenger name record plans

11 March 2011

The Government should opt-in to proposals from Brussels about the use of passenger name record (PNR) data, says the Lords EU Sub-Committee on Home Affairs. Lords say the data is crucial for fighting terrorism.

Among the member states of the EU, the UK is the only country to have a fully functioning PNR system, and the committee report that the case for EU wide legislation is compelling in order to prevent, detect and investigate terrorist offences.

The report, from the House of Lords EU sub-committee on Home Affairs, recommends that the UK should opt-in to the draft directive in order to be in the best possible position to push for the directive to be developed to include all intra-EU flights rather than just flights from countries outside the EU.

The committee observe various issues such as privacy and data protection, but none of these matters outweigh the importance of PNR data as a weapon in the fight against terrorism and serious crime.

The report was debated by the House of Lords on Thursday 17 March at approximately 4.30 pm.

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