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European Court of Justice Jurisdiction

July 29th, 2017

Letter to The Times, published Monday, 24th July 2017

Your correspondent in Brussels did well to ask Michel Barnier at his joint press conference with David Davis on the 20th July to name any country that accepted foreign jurisdiction on its territory. Not surprisingly Barnier couldn’t answer because there are none, not even from among the smallest countries in the United Nations, apart from those in the EU.

For the record, there are about 2 million EU nationals  resident in Canada (excluding British citizens) and 1.6 million EU nationals resident in Australia, together actually more than are resident in the UK.  There is no provision in the recent EU-Canada Trade agreement for the European Court of Justice to have jurisdiction over the rights of its citizens resident in Canada, nor did the EU negotiators ask for any.  Nor would Australia countenance such an infraction of its sovereignty.

It is high time that Mr. Davis said in public that the ECJ will not have any jurisdictional role in the United Kingdom after we have formally left in March 2019, so that negotiations can move on to more productive matters.