David Davis has been warned by Tory MPs that the UK must make a “clean break” from the European Court of Justice amid concerns he could allow its continued influence for years to come. The Brexit Secretary will on Wednesday publish a paper suggesting that the European Free Trade Association’s court could provide a potential model for the UK after Brexit. The court, which is independent, rules on disputes between Brussels and non-EU members of the Single Market such as Norway. Tory eurosceptics have raised concerns that the body simply “rubber-stamps” the rulings of the European Court of Justice and would fail to deliver sovereignty after Brexit.
Britain will be subject to the rulings of European courts after Brexit, the government has conceded, in an apparent climbdown from its promise of judicial independence. In the latest in a series of policy papers that seek to blur the edges of hard Brexit, the government argues that for the smooth settlement of cross-border disputes it is necessary that foreign judgments sometimes apply to individuals and businesses in the UK. “A judgment obtained in one country can be recognised and enforced in another,” said a government source speaking anonymously before the paper’s publication on Tuesday.
Britain could be under the thumb of the European Court of Justice until 2027, it has emerged. The government is set to publish the blueprint for how the UK will treat rulings from the ECJ, but Brexiteers look set to be disappointed according to today’s Telegraph. Any judgements made by the ECJ up until the end of March 2019 will be respected in British law, but that period could be extended as part of a transitional arrangement, like the one being pushed for by arch-Remoaner Philip Hammond. If the transition period lasts until 2022, then because some rulings can take 5 years to resolve it means Britain could find itself abiding by ECJ decisions until 2027. This isn’t good enough. Britain voted to take back control of its legal system. Legal autonomy is the cornerstone of national sovereignty and the sooner it’s returned to British courts the better.
TORY Euro-sceptics today reacted warily to a compromise plan that could keep Britain in the EU’s single market while escaping the rule of the European Court of Justice. Under a proposal being considered by ministers, the court of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) would step in to oversee the future trade relationship between the UK and Brussels. Supporters believe the move could mean British firms continuing to enjoy full access to the EU’s trade zone while also meeting Theresa May’s insistence that the rule of EU judges over the UK once the country leaves the bloc in 2019. But the suggestion, floated by top Swiss judge Carl Baudenbacher, has been given a mixed reception by Brexit-backing Tories. Senior Tory MP Jacob-Rees Mogg said: “The big difficulty is that the Efta court takes its lead from the ECJ and while its rulings are technically advisory in practise they take direct effect in the countries concerned. That would be unacceptable.”
David Davis yesterday demanded that British goods are not forced off the Continent’s shelves the day after Brexit as he warned any disruption to trade would be disastrous for the EU. The Brexit Secretary pointed out that the EU’s £250billion annual exports to the UK are more than it sells to Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. He called for new arrangements ‘to the benefit of all’. Mr Davis will this morning set out more detail on Britain’s negotiating position as he publishes proposals for how cross-border divorce cases, child custody battles and consumer rights problems are handled after Brexit. Yesterday, in the Government’s latest Brexit paper, he urged Brussels to allow all goods placed on the market before the day of departure in March 2019 to continue being sold in the UK and EU without any additional requirements.
DAVID Davis warned the EU that failure to secure a Brexit deal would be a disaster for its businesses. The Brexit Secretary said European companies sold more to Britain than China, India, Brazil and Russia combined. His latest negotiation paper pointed out that exports to the UK were worth £257billion last year, leaving it in “no one’s interest to see disruption and uncertainty”. It also came with a call for British and European goods already on sale to stay on shop shelves after Brexit. The proposals are in his department’s latest tranche of position papers which will form the basis for divorce negotiations with Brussels. Two more negotiations papers were also published to limit post-Brexit upheaval, on cross-border court decisions and confidential documents.
The Government is demanding that UK firms producing goods to European standards before Brexit be allowed to sell them in the EU at no extra cost, even after Britain has quit the bloc. The demand published on Monday would help British firms avoid millions of pounds in potential compliance costs, but directly contradicts the EU’s current position. It means Brexit Secretary David Davis and his team of UK negotiators are on a collision course with their EU counterparts, whom they are due to meet in Brussels for a fresh round of talks next week.It also comes after an EU leader warned slow progress in negotiations means the UK will not be able to begin discussions on a lucrative new trade deal in October, as planned by Theresa May.
BRITAIN today offered Brussels an olive branch over the future of European businesses after Brexit – but only if eurocrats are more constructive on trade talks. In a position paper published this lunchtime the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) said the UK wants to ensure a smooth transition for companies from 2019. Ministers insist they do not want to impose any extra red tape or restrictions on European companies exporting to Britain – a big boost for German carmakers and French farmers. However there is a catch, with UK officials saying such a deal needs to be “consistent with the UK’s ambition for our future relationship” – meaning eurocrats need to start talking trade.
The Government has kept up the pressure on the EU to move the Brexit talks towards the future trading relationship by publishing its latest position papers. The first calls for goods already on the market to be allowed to remain on sale in the UK and EU without additional requirements or restrictions, with the same principle applying to services relating to these goods. Any agreement should allow oversight arrangements to remain in place, meaning action can be taken against unsafe or non-compliant goods to protect patient safety and maintain consumer protection, it said. A second paper recommends a reciprocal agreement to make sure official documents shared by Britain with EU partners while it was a member state remain confidential.
Brexit Secretary David Davis has issued an 11-page position paper proposing that EU goods entering the market prior to Brexit should remain on sale in the UK without restrictions, in hopes of speeding up trade talks. “The UK believes that all goods lawfully placed on the market before exit should continue to circulate [between the EU and the UK] freely, without additional requirements or restrictions,” the paper states — but hints that this may be contingent on Brussels droppings its opposition to discussing a post-exit trade deal. “The UK’s ambition is to work towards a comprehensive future agreement with the EU, which includes securing the freest and most frictionless trade possible in goods and services, to the benefit of all,” it continues. “The UK enters these discussions with this in mind, and is seeking to avoid any unnecessary disruption during the move to the future partnership.”
BRITAIN was delivered a Brexit blow today as a senior EU leader warned trade talks will now not begin in October as planned due to major disagreements between the two sides. Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar said a stand-off over key issues, most notably the multi-billion pound Brexit bill, meant thrashing out a new relationship will not start this Autumn. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the Brexit minister David Davis have both previously committed to the date, by which point they had hoped to have the technical aspects of the divorce sorted. But two major sticking points have predictably arisen – the jurisdiction of the ECJ and the size of the financial settlement – meaning the phase one talks are set to drag on into the new year.
Theresa May’s ambition to kick-start talks on a future UK-EU trade deal has been dashed after the Prime Minister of Slovenia warned the first phase of negotiations will take longer than planned. Under the agreed timetable for the Brexit negotiations, “sufficient progress” must be be made on the withdrawal issues, including the paramount issues of a financial settlement and citizens’ rights, before talks on a future relationship and trade deal can begin. Both sides hope that Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, will be ready to make that recommendation to October’s European Council summit of EU leaders, who will have to green light the opening of trade talks. But the Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar suggested the issues in the first phase of the talks – a financial settlement, citizens’ rights, and the Irish border – were too complex to solve, or make sufficient progress on, in time to allow trade talks to begin in two months’ time as previously anticipated.
The government is facing a multibillion-pound shortage of funding for new schools, hospitals and social housing after a decision by the world’s biggest public lender to freeze its UK operations because of Brexit. The Times has learnt that the European Investment Bank, which financed £6.9 billion of public infrastructure projects in Britain last year, has effectively imposed a moratorium on new long-term loans to the UK. The decision was taken after the government triggered Article 50 in March. Since then only three UK projects have had funding signed off and no projects have been financed since June. In the first three months of the year the EIB approved nine projects worth a total of £1.4 billion.
THE German government is worried that Brexit will wreck the country’s economy, a new report has revealed. Berlin’s Finance Ministry fears the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal could plunge the Eurozone‘s biggest economy into crisis. Officials also raised fears about Donald Trump‘s protectionist trade policies and the emissions scandal ensnaring German carmakers. In a report released today, the ministry wrote: “Risks linked to how Brexit will shape out and future US trade policies remain. “In addition, the so-called diesel crisis should be classified as a new risk to the German economy even though its effects are not possible to quantify at the moment.” The shock admission will come as a major boost to Brexit negotiators as they try to strike a free-trade agreement with Brussels.
Care homes are teetering “on the edge” and a chronic shortage of funding risks “catastrophic failure” within the National Health Service, the businessman expected to be the biggest operator of residential homes has warned. Chai Patel, chairman of HC-One, which could take over more than 120 homes from Bupa, predicted that six national chains would emerge to dominate the market by benefiting from economies of scale. The acquisition would enable his company to expand to about 350 homes with 22,000 care beds and become the biggest in the sector. There is immense pressure on care homes amid government funding cuts and an increase in costs since all adults over 25 became eligible for the national living wage.
A lack of care home beds means more than three in four dying dementia patients end up in A&E, shocking new figures show. The number of later-stage patients making emergency visits to hospital jumped by 62 per cent in just five years between 2008/09 and 2012/13, research by King’s College London found. Doctors warned many of the visits were preventable, unnecessary and distressing for patients and their families – as well as putting greater strain on overstretched emergency departments. They blamed falling numbers of care home beds for the problem as the study found people in care homes were much less likely to go to A&E.
Pioneers of robotics and artificial intelligence have called for the UN to ban killer robots, warning of conflicts on an unprecedented scale if an arms race to build autonomous weapons continues. The bosses of more than 160 companies, including Elon Musk of Tesla and Mustafa Suleyman of Deepmind, an AI company bought by Google in 2014, signed an open letter warning that lethal autonomous weapons would create a “third revolution” in warfare, after the inventions of gunpowder and the atomic bomb. The group is urging the UN to add autonomous systems to a list of “morally wrong” weapons that includes chemical weapons and blinding lasers.