London – Britain does not want the European Court of Justice to resolve disputes related to the country’s departure from the European Union, the government said in its latest Brexit policy paper released Wednesday.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s government aims to negotiate “an approach to enforcement and dispute resolution which meets the key objectives of the UK and the EU, underpinning the deep and special partnership we seek,” the paper stated.
Leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice
It wants a mechanism for dispute resolution that will “maximize certainty for individuals and businesses” and “respect the autonomy of EU law and UK legal systems.
Any arrangement allowing the highest court of one party to enforce or interpret a bilateral agreement “would be exceptional in international agreements,” it said.
“What is absolutely clear, when we leave the European Union, we will be leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice,” May told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the publication.
“Parliament will make our laws,” she said. “It is British judges who will interpret those laws and it will be the British Supreme Court that will be the arbiter of those laws.”
No future role for the European Court of Justice
Keir Starmer, the opposition Labour party’s shadow Brexit minister, said May’s “ideological insistence that there can be no future role whatsoever for the ECJ or any similar court-like body risks preventing the deal Britain needs.”
“It has already held back a sensible and early agreement on issues such as Euratom and EU citizens,” Starmer said in a statement.
But he said the document’s reference only to ending the “direct jurisdiction” of the ECJ could be “potentially significant” and appeared to contradict May’s earlier insistence that there could be no post-Brexit role for the European court in Britain.
May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in March, officially beginning two years of negotiations on the Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union after more than 40 years.