Britain no desire for ECJ’s direct jurisdiction in UK post-Brexit
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
On Tuesday, the British government made clear that it will no longer acknowledge the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as having direct jurisdiction over Britain post-Brexit. This is proving a bone of contention with the EU, which wishes to protect EU citizens. Brussels desires that the highest European jurisdiction continues to apply in Britain, even after the UK leaves the EU, anticipated to take place in March 2019. The EU indeed wishes to have the power to continue to refer litigation to the ECJ, especially regarding respect for the rights of EU citizens located in the UK. There are currently more than three million such citizens.
The British government formally opposes this concept. On Wednesday it set out more detailed proposals on the subject, before the third round of negotiations in Brussels starts next week. The Brexit Minister, David Davis, considered, “It is neither necessary nor appropriate for the ECJ to have direct jurisdiction over a non-member state.” The British government takes that the view that there are other means to “resolve differences in international agreements without the ECJ having direct jurisdiction.”
Opponents of Brexit, see this government position, focused upon the ECJ’s direct jurisdiction, as possibly amounting to a “climb-down” on the part of the British government. Brexit supporters campaigned last year on the themes of the end of the ECJ’s jurisdiction as well as a reduction in British immigration numbers, permitted by Britain taking back control of its borders.