Theresa May Says UK Leaving EU Court's Jurisdiction After Brexit

EU | August 23, 2017, Wednesday // 14:32|  views

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Theresa May has insisted the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK will come to an end with Brexit, BBC reports.

As the government published new details of its position, the PM said the UK would "take back control of our laws".

But critics say it will be impossible to avoid European judges having a role in enforcing new agreements drawn up with the EU. Ministers say the two sides will keep "half an eye" on each other's rulings.

The promise to end "direct jurisdiction" in recent policy papers - a phrase not used by Mrs May - has raised questions about what "indirect" jurisdiction the EU court could be left with.

In the latest publication, about how to enforce disputes after Brexit, the government has outlined several models used by other countries that it says show there is no need for the ECJ to be the final arbiter.

But some of these involve the ECJ having an influence on the outcome of disputes, for example by interpreting EU law.

Government sources played down the significance of the word "direct", saying it meant ECJ rulings would no longer automatically apply to the UK and that it would no longer be able to strike down domestic UK laws where they are incompatible with EU law.

Mrs May said: "What we will be able to do is to make our own laws - Parliament will make our laws - it is British judges that will interpret those laws, and it will be the British Supreme Court that will be the ultimate arbiter of those laws."

Earlier Justice Minister Dominic Raab said there would be "divergence" between UK and EU case law after Brexit, adding: "t is precisely because there will be that divergence as we take back control that it makes sense for the UK to keep half an eye on the case law of the EU, and for the EU to keep half an eye on the case law of the UK."

The ECJ is in charge of ensuring member states abide by EU law.
Its rulings are binding on all member states, and it also settles disputes between countries and EU institutions. A paper being published by the government later on Wednesday will say it is not "necessary or appropriate" for the ECJ to have direct authority over UK law after Brexit, adding that it would be "unprecedented" for it to do so.

It will set out a range of alternative models for dealing with legal disputes with the EU - and argue that the UK is is in a "position of strength" to forge new arrangements suited to its own circumstances.

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Tags: ECJ, European law, theresa may, Brexit, UK, European Court


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