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End ‘direct jurisdiction’ of EU courts post Brexit, says government

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But Justice Minister says UK will need to keep “half an eye” on its rulings in the future

As part of its policy on Brexit, the government today published its views on the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in the UK.

In its much anticipated ‘future partnership paper’ on enforcement and dispute resolution, Theresa May’s government seeks to reassure Brexit supporters that the ECJ will have no place in the UK’s “domestic legal order.” It states:

EU law has direct effect within the legal orders of the Member States, a principle to which the UK gives effect through the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA). When the UK leaves the EU and repeals the ECA, the EU Treaties, the jurisdiction of the CJEU and the doctrine of direct effect will cease to apply in the UK. This means the question of domestic implementation of UK-EU agreements will be addressed through the UK’s domestic legal order.

However, there is still the thorny problem of what body will have jurisdiction to hear any disputes between the UK and the EU over the withdrawal agreement, the main legal agreement which will govern Brexit, or what body/how rights and obligations given to individuals or businesses under any agreement will be enforced.

The paper argues that: “there is no precedent, and indeed no imperative driven by EU, UK or international law, which demands that enforcement or dispute resolution of future UK-EU agreements falls under the direct jurisdiction of the CJEU.”

So far, so many ‘nos’.

It may well be, however, that the ECJ ends up being the most logical place for such enforcement or dispute resolution to take place.

The paper also does not settle the question of whether UK courts should pay attention to the decisions of the ECJ on the existing body of EU law, much of which will continue to be part of the UK’s legislative make-up.

Justice Minister Dominic Rabb’s reference to judges keeping a “half an eye” on ECJ rulings on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has led many to believe that there will still be a residual place for the ECJ in UK case law.

Indeed, the Telegraph today argues that the ECJ will, in fact, remain the ultimate arbiter for many “British disputes”.

Shadow Brexit secretary and former human rights lawyer, Keir Starmer, sees this paper as a U-turn on May’s promise that she would, as she said last year: “take back control” of UK laws and “bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European court of justice in Britain”.

In a release yesterday, Starmer said:

Ending the ‘direct jurisdiction’ of the ECJ is potentially significant. This appears to contradict the red line laid out [by] the prime minister … which stated there could be no future role of the ECJ and that all laws will be interpreted by judges in this country.

The latest round of official Brexit talks will kick off in Brussels next week.

Read the future partnership paper in full below:

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24 Comments

Anonymous

We should just accept that the whole referendum idea was awful and stay in the EU. Sometimes in life you need to accept mistakes

(21)(20)

Anonymous

We should just accept the result of the referendum. And get as far away from the EU as we can, as soon as possible. Sometimes in life you need to accept referendum results, shut up and get on with it.

(16)(15)

Anonymous

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

WPL!

(0)(2)

Curious George

WPL?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“Wets Pants Laughing”

👙💦

(1)(1)

Air Hair Lair

Yep, that’s democracy, One Man, One Vote, Once.
Then ‘shut up’ , no opposition, we must not ask what is the ‘will of the people’ today, or tomorrow…
Second referendum is coming, it is the only solution, and all the liars and subverters of our democracy should be worried.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Air Hair Lair- oh thank you, that was just beautiful.

“Second referendum is coming, it is the only solution… and the subverters of the our democracy should be worried”.

I fear, alas, that you aren’t bright enough to even see what you wrote there. If that doesn’t sum your lot up, I don’t know what does. Absolutely hilarious.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The problem with people who voted remain is that they’re normally reasonable people. A reasonable person accepts that they lost a vote and then moves on. Perhaps remainers should behave like brextremists instead. The consequence of Brexit will be so unfathomably confusing and damaging that it is almost unthinkable.

Even if we’d voted to remain it’s ludicrous to imagine that the brexiteers would give up there.

(7)(10)

Anonymous

Completely agree. Our problem is we aren’t willing to lie and scream like the Brexiteers.

(5)(5)

Anonymous

That’s funny. The only people who are screaming and lying are the Remainers. The only people at social functions who keep making vulgar comments about those who voted the opposite way to them, are the Remainers. In the last year, I can recount time after time where Remainers have turned up at summer barbecues, at dinner parties, friends popping round, and clients, all being extremely rude and some offensive comments. I have not heard one Leaver do the same.

There are two points which Remainers cannot seem to get their heads around. First, they lost. The outcome of the referendum stands, and in the same way as I accepted the prospect of losing (which I thought we had from the results in the early hours, to be absolutely overjoyed when I woke up later to the final results), why can’t Remainers behave with the same decorum? Second, Remainers keep making claims such as “The consequence of Brexit will be so unfathomably confusing and damaging that it is almost unthinkable” above. Rather like religious claims, you’re forgetting that is simply your belief and opinion. Again, Remainers can’t seem to get their head round that this is not a shared belief, and that Leavers voted for a belief in a mechanism which would result in a better country, and better quality of life. You may not agree, but that is democracy.

Now, we’ve had the vote. Leave it.

(6)(10)

Anonymous

“We’ve voted out. So why haven’t we left yet?”

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Do you not think that it is artificial and unhelpful to see things in terms of “remainers” and “brexiters”, not to mention “victory” and “defeat”? We are all one country, and everyone has an equal right to express a view on this incredibly constitutionally important process. It is not the case that one half of the country wins and one loses because of how they voted in the referendum – we are all in this together and the outcome of this process will affect everyone, regardless of how or whether they voted.

It’s right that the process should be scrutinised and that people should be able to call it into question. It’s perfectly legitimate to argue against someone’s view about the Brexit process because you disagree with its contents of what they say. But suggesting that because of how you assume that they voted affects what opinions they should be able to voice is just ridiculous, and it distracts from the real and important issues.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Eh? Why is it unhelpful to talk of a referendum win as a win/victory, and a referendum loss as a loss/defeat? And why not call those who voted for remain Remainers, and those who voted for brext as Brexiters. Takes up less space and is quicker to write. Don’t get your logic at all.

(0)(0)

Dr Patel

Over the past year I’ve diagnosed in many of my peers a new mental illness called ‘remoaneritis’.

This symptoms include anxiety, being insufferably boring, treason and refusing to accept defeat.

If you are suffering from this condition, please ring me at to arrange a cure. This cure will consist of you leaving your social, metropolitan bubble (a traumatic experience for many), and going on a tour of Europe, whose destinations include the decimated northern fishing towns, the banlieux in France, the job centres in Spain, Italy and Portugal, and what remains of Greece.

(13)(14)

Anonymous

The only treasonous people are the ones trying to destroy the UK by dragging it out of the EU for MUH SOVRUNTY (which we’ve always retained).

(9)(7)

Dr Patel

Eff off you batty boy

(2)(9)

Francophone

Actually, it’s “banlieues”.

(2)(1)

A barrister

OK, I’ve read the govnt’s paper now. All seems eminently sensible.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Does anyone know why apparently sensible people like David Allen Green get so worked up by the Government’s stance on the ECJ? To my perhaps naive mind, the EU’s stance is just as insular and ideological as our own.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

If you’re going to make a blithe statement like that then have he decency to substantiate it. How is the EU being ‘just as insular and ideological as our own’ ?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

The trouble is it’d just be a bit dull and long-winded … and to an extent you can use your imagination to get the gist … something to do with the rigidity of EU law, the mindset behind this, and the consequent tendency to belittle Member States … to give one example, there is no reason why UK courts can’t be used to guarantee rights broadly similar to those EU citizens currently living in this country enjoy, but unless things have changed recently or I haven’t read the small print (highly likely) only the ECJ will do for the EU.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

The UK wants to leave, without leaving. They want to keep picking up the good things while turning down anything they don’t like. Like a spoiled brat at a buffet, cramming his paper plate with pork pies and sausage rolls.

All the while forgetting that the EU doesn’t have to let the spoiled brat stuff his face.

They will, of course, turn, face the UK and say: ‘if you want the good things, you have to follow the same rules as the rest of us.’

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Maybe if the EU doesn’t want the brat to stuff his face, it should organise a sit down affair. Buffets are by their nature all-you-can-eat affairs and the brat is merely following in the traditions of buffets immemorial.

I am assuming that you were last in the queue again and had to get some awful ‘guess the mini quiche’ or did you bite into a scotch egg and find it had some kind of sauce at its centre? The first time it happened to me I was angry too. The pain dulls but it never goes away.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Like what? What do we want to keep whilst not paying for it?

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.