What role for the ECJ in the UK?

British Prime Minister Theresa May had promised Brexiteers that London would regain full judicial sovereignty after Brexit. However a paper published by her government now says that only the "direct jurisdiction" of the European Court of Justice would end but that its decisions would continue to be regarded as guidelines. Commentators differ on whether this is a sensible U-turn.

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Irish Independent (IE) /

A red rag for Brexit hardliners

It's simply inconceivable that Britain should remain subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union after Brexit, the Irish Independent writes:

“When you contemplate its reach into daily life in Britain, it is not hard to understand why it has been, and continues to be, a major red-rag issue in the Brexit debate. In all of their post-Brexit referendum pronouncements, the London government has stressed the need to 'take back control of our own laws'. This has meant the contentious, and not-always-practical assertion that the EU court cannot continue to be allowed to resolve trade and commercial disputes which involve UK entities.”

The Independent (GB) /

CJEU an important corrective

The Court of Justice of the European Union constitutes an important counterweight to the government in London, writes the Independent:

“In practice, as the executive is de facto from the largest party in the Commons, there is no effective separation of powers between them and the legislature. ... A loss of CJEU jurisdiction will mean that the UK executive can indeed 'take back control', and potentially with little constraint other than rebel MPs and five-yearly general elections. ... A question for the country will be whether any constitutional changes will be needed to ensure that there are adequate checks and balances so that this executive power is properly and adequately challengeable.”