United Kingdom government prevaricates over ECJ jurisdiction

The twin towers built for interpreters and translators at the European Court of Justice Luxembourg
The twin towers built for interpreters and translators at the European Court of Justice Luxembourg
Author

24 August, 2017

Yet amid the fence-sitting, there are clear signs that May's government is finally starting to wake up to the hard realities of Brexit. You wait ages for one and then several come along at once.

May, time and again, has said the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will have no say over the United Kingdom after Brexit.

The paper drew attention to several European Union agreements which do not require the Luxembourg-based court's direct jurisdiction over other countries - a clear attempt to encourage more f lexibility among European Union officials who are protective of the court. The UK wants to negotiate a new unique civil judicial cooperation framework, but is vague on which laws the UK wants to continue participating in.

When a trade agreement is signed between two parties, they will, at the same time, normally decide a method through which they will resolve potential disputes and interpret the new law which will develop as a outcome of the agreement.

And at the Tory conference last October, she spoke of a "Britain in which we pass our own laws and govern ourselves".

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer MP says the new document contradicts the "red line" on the European Court of Justice in the PM's Lancaster House speech. That's not going to happen'.

So what has changed and why?

"Despite Theresa May's tub-thumping rhetoric, it's clear that protecting British trade, security and families will mean accepting a role for the European Court".

A Government blueprint on how the United Kingdom will treat rulings by European Court of Justice will say its "direct jurisdiction" will end when Britain leaves the EU.

May herself said breaking free of the ECJ's jurisdiction meant that Britain would be able to make its own laws and British judges and courts would enforce them.

More news: Russia Urges Iran to Stick to the Nuclear Deal From 2015

"If the Government is to achieve its environmental aspirations, it must ensure we have robust enforcement mechanisms, rather than hollowing out the law".

Ah, take back control!

Britons voted in a referendum on June 23, 2016, to leave the EU.

May had not qualified her previous statements by using the word "direct".

"It is about having a balanced process where both sides could have confidence", Justice Minister Dominic Raab told the BBC.

Former Labour minister Lord Andrew Adonis, a Remain supporter, said: "Not much is left of David Davis's so-called "red line" of taking back control from European judges".

But according to Dr Bartels, this week's position papers don't provide a definitive answer because "this question has been reserved for future UK-EU agreement".

In February 2016, Boris Johnson wrote: "you've got a supreme judicial body in the European court of justice [sic] that projects down on this entire 500 million-people territory, a single unified judicial order from which there is absolutely no recourse and no comebacks". It sounds like it.

British prime minister Theresa May in a speech on Brexit a year ago said that ending ECJ authority was a red line. But we already know one thing: the ECJ remains off the table - and rightly so.


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