Govt promises "close co-operation" in cross-border legal disputes after Brexit

Catherine Neilan
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"Agreeing a system for future cooperation on civil justice matters is crucial" (Source: Getty)

The government will today set out plans to make "close co-operation" with EU courts at the heart of talks surrounding cross-border legal disputes.

In yet another position paper published by the Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU), David Davis and team will promise "certainty" after Brexit for families, business and individuals who live and work across the UK and the EU27.

The paper will cover plans for handling cross-border consumer disputes as well as those of businesses and investors, including issues such as unpaid invoices, legal disputes over products purchased online and divorces, child custody or child maintenance.

"Agreeing a system for future cooperation on civil justice matters is crucial for EU citizens living in the UK; UK citizens living in the EU and for the tens of thousands of businesses that buy, sell and invest across borders," the government will say today.

The paper will outline three areas of focus:

  • To build on the existing foundation of cooperation and respect for the rule of law;

  • To continue to collaborate at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels;

  • To develop our relationship over time as our societies and laws develop.

A UK government source said: “Close cooperation in this area isn’t just in the interest of the UK citizens living in the EU, it’s in the interest of the 3.2 million EU citizens living here in Britain.

“For example, with more and more families living across borders, we need to make absolutely sure that if and when problems arise, they can be reassured that cross-border laws will apply to them in a fair and sensible way.

“By setting out a very clear position on this, we hope that we will be able to work with the Commission to agree a reasoned approach that works for families here in Britain and across the European Union.”

At present, the UK is part of the EU’s civil judicial cooperation system.

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