David Cameron has secretly opened the door to the transfer of more policing powers to the European Union, it has been reported.
The Times said that British ministers had informed Brussels that they will make a decision on whether to join a Europe-wide DNA database by December 1 2015 – six months after the general election.
The paper said that a leaked document had revealed the Government was considering the sharing of DNA records along with a number of other additional measures.
Both Downing Street and the Home Office refused to comment on the report directly, saying they did not comment on leaked documents.
However, the disclosure is likely to anger Tory MPs who are bitterly opposed to Britain’s participation in the controversial European arrest warrant.
The warrant is one of 35 measures that the Government is currently re-negotiating to rejoin after using its opt out under the 2007 Lisbon treaty to withdraw from 133 policing and criminal justice measures which pre-dated the treaty.
According to The Times, the leaked document states: “As the UK Government has also indicated that in a number of other cases it will set in motion a process towards the subsequent opting in to certain other instruments of particular importance.”
The paper did not say where the document had come from.
Tory Euro-sceptic Jacob Rees Mogg told the paper: “As the Prime Minister has made it clear that he wishes to bring back powers in relation to justice and home affairs, it is surprising that the Foreign Office is paving the way for a further surrender of power to Brussels.
“It is troubling that more information is coming from leaked commission documents and press releases than from statements to the House of Commons.”
A No 10 spokesman said: “We have taken a case-by-case approach to any new proposal brought forward since Lisbon and will make a decision based on whether it is in the national interest.”
The Home Office said in a statement: “Last year the Government exercised the UK’s right to opt out from all EU police and criminal justice measures that pre-date the Lisbon treaty.
“We are fully engaged in negotiations with the EU to rejoin a smaller number of measures which are in the national interest.
“Those negotiations have not concluded but we are now in a position to update Parliament again – as we have done throughout this process.”