British Jewish representatives have welcomed a decision by Icelandic lawmakers to drop plans to make the ritual circumcision of boys illegal.

Simon Hochhauser, co-chair of Milah UK, which promotes and protects the right of the Jewish community to carry out religious circumcision, applauded the decision, following lobbying from advocates in the UK and Europe.

“We welcome the common sense decision of the Icelandic Parliament to drop this bill,” he said. “It would have criminalised law-abiding Jews and Muslims and their traditions.”

Iceland would have been the first European country to outlaw male circumcision under the age of 18 for non-medical reasons if the bill, first forwarded in February, had progressed through the country’s parliament.