Following the publication in the OJ (no. L 10 of 15 January 2009, p. 22) of the formal Commission Decision of 22 December 2008 on the request from the United Kingdom to accept the Rome I reg. (see our previous post on the Commission opinion), the UK government has published the response to the public consultation launched in April 2008.
There were 37 responses to the consultation (see the detailed list in Annex A to the document), from the academic sector (5), commercial, financial and insurance organisations (18), consumer organisations (2), the legal sector (11) and the transport sector (1). The overwhelming majority of the respondents (95%) agreed that the UK should participate in the Regulation.
Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion (see also, on pp. 16-38, the article-by-article analysis, with the points raised by the respondents and the government response, as well as the comments on various issues relating to EC action in PIL matters, such as the UK’s position in future EU dossiers, the role of the ECJ and the Danish government’s ambition to put its opt-outs to a referendum):
104. The majority of respondents to the consultation were of the view that, given the satisfactory outcome of the negotiations, there was an advantage to British business if the rules determining the governing law were uniform throughout the EU. Aligning UK law in this respect to that in the rest of the EU would reduce legal expense and transaction costs. In addition, some respondents expressed the view that our original decision to opt out of the Regulation had helped to achieve the final positive result. However, they also made the point that if the UK did not participate in Rome I now, having achieved such a good result, it could significantly weaken the effectiveness of our right to not participate in future and damage our negotiating strength in relation to other EU dossiers.
105. […] The European Commission adopted a decision to extend the application of the Rome I Regulation to the United Kingdom on 22 December 2008. The Ministry of Justice, the Department for Finance & Personnel (Northern Ireland) and the Scottish Executive will shortly progress implementation planning for the Regulation. The UK will be required to implement the Regulation by 17 December 2009.
106. By opting in to the Regulation, it shall be binding and directly applicable to the UK. The Regulation will apply to the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and also to Gibraltar. The UK’s participation in the Regulation does not, however, undermine the UK’s future use of the Protocol to Title IV of the EC Treaty.