DEBATE: Are the terms of the position paper on the ECJ’s future jurisdiction welcome?
YES – Gina Miller, founding partner of SCM Direct.
The government’s wobbly redline on the ECJ is very welcome. To date they appear to have failed to understand the importance of the ECJ, the last call in disputes, which decides whether institutions of the EU are acting legally, and settles disputes between them. The ECJ also allows member states to challenge EU legislation and interprets EU law at the request of national courts. Without the ECJ, new courts will be needed to cover all areas of its jurisdiction – trade, citizens’ rights and security.
This is yet another example of the cowardice of politicians who are too weak to be open and honest with the public about the real consequences of leaving the EU. In this case, they are having to soften people up to the fact that there does need to be an EU court, and an EFTA Court style compromise is the best solution. This already contains the institutions and infrastructure to solve a lot of challenges very efficiently, and would be least disruptive, thereby creating greater certainty. But remember, while these positioning papers are very welcome, however unrealistic, they are only the UK position. It is the EU27 that will decide the terms of any final deal.
NO – Steven Woolfe, MEP for the North West of England.
When I and over 17m people voted to Leave the European Union last year, we voted to take back control of our laws, borders and money. Leaving the ECJ is a critical part of that.
The government is committing to leaving the ECJ after Brexit, but must not bow down to demands from the EU as talks continue. A model under which the ECJ is the ultimate arbitrator post Brexit is almost unheard of. It’s simply not fair for the UK and is an unreasonable demand. The same could be said if the boot was on the other foot with the UK Supreme Court.
The government should take it further and ensure the UK leaves the full jurisdiction in March 2019. Any attempts to remain under the ECJ in any transitional deal should be resisted.
Judicial independence is the cornerstone of our democracy.
It is of the highest importance.