UK govt. paper to call for no post-Brexit role for ECJ

The British government will today publish a negotiating position paper in which it will call for the end of the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over the UK in all situations after Brexit.

Ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ has been regarded as a red line for Theresa May’s government.

However, the EU is likely to insist that if the UK and Europe negotiate a free trade agreement after Britain’s withdrawal, the ECJ will have to have an oversight role.

There are few EU institutions which infuriate hardline eurosceptics as much as the European Court of Justice which they accuse of being composed of foreign judges meddling in British life. 

Some Brexiteers have confused the issue with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which is a separate court and not part of the EU.

Theresa May has insisted that Britain should not be subject in any shape or form to ECJ jurisdiction.

The ECJ exists to adjudicate on European law when there are disputes between governments, between governments and the European Commission, and between consumers, companies and other groups if there is a dispute of a cross border nature.

The EU’s chief negotiator has insisted that EU citizens living in the UK, including people in Northern Ireland who hold Irish passports, should in the future have their rights protected by the ECJ.

Furthermore, there are many spheres of activity, like aviation, energy, food safety and others in which London has signalled it wants to continue to participate.  The EU is likely to insist that if it does, then it will have to abide by the interpretation of ECJ judges in the case of disputes.

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