DEBATE: Is it justified that citizens will lose the ability to sue government over failure to implement EU law?

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DEBATE: Is it justified that citizens will lose the ability to sue government over failure to implement EU law?

YES – Hugh Bennett is deputy editor at BrexitCentral.

There is a substantial amount of misinformation around the Francovich legal ruling, which the EU Withdrawal Bill will disapply. The ruling judged that member state governments should be financially liable for damages to their citizens arising from a serious failure to implement EU directives. Disapplying Francovich is simply a procedural step in leaving the EU. Clearly it would be absurd if the UK could be sued for failing to implement future EU directives passed after it has already left. However, it will not affect people’s rights to sue the government for breaking existing EU laws – the UK has the centuries-old practice of judicial review, which serves the same purpose in domestic law, with Gina Miller’s Article 50 case a recent high-profile example. And as the Withdrawal Bill incorporates all existing EU law into UK law, this just means that UK citizens will now be able to sue the government for breaking any EU laws directly through the UK legal system.

NO – Gina Miller is founding partner at SCM Direct.

It appears logical that a government cannot be sued for failure to adhere to EU directives once Britain has completely left the EU. I have more fundamental worries about Friday’s report:

–We do not know what deal or relationship will result from negotiations yet this bill is drafted to reflect a “no deal” scenario.

– Is the government hoodwinking the public, as their real intention is really leaving with no deal?

– Are they seriously negotiating for a deal in the best interest of the country or one that is a power grab for them?

– Are MPs from all parties going to meticulously read and debate the proposed great repeal bill? Will they object to clauses, such as the one being highlighted today, and demand the government detail the legislation, protections and rights they intend to bring in place of EU protections.

– Is the real intention here to vote through a bill that will allow whoever is in power to deconstruct democracy and act like dictators?

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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