Published On: Sat, May 12th, 2018

Brexit news: Former EU judge says Ukraine border deal is BEST for UK | UK | News

Former EU judge Franklin Dehousse has suggested Britain and Brussels explore the possibility of using the Ukraine-EU border as a basis for their future relationship post-Brexit.

He suggested the dispute mechanism might be the best option for the UK to pursue but not necessarily for the EU.

Throughout the Brexit campaigns, Brexiteers spoke of their desires to banish the rule of ECJ judges from the UK, therefore creating one the UK’s negotiation redlines as outlined in the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech.

Mrs May said: “We will take back control of our laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain.

“Leaving the European Union will mean the our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburg, Cardiff and Belfast.

“And those laws will be interpreted by judges not in Luxembourg but in courts across this country. Because we will not have truly left the European Union if we are not in control of our own laws.”

Brussels have been reluctant to come to a compromise over its own legal system – the ECJ – which they say must remain as overwatch if the UK is to participate in any EU agency or treaty.

This even includes Britain signing off on ECJ jurisdiction on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, with it able to consider cases during an eight-year period after Brexit.

The opposing stances have created a halt in negotiations with neither side truly happy with one another over the role of the ECJ, especially when creating a trade dispute mechanism.

Professor Dehousse suggested the EU-Ukraine association agreement – which has been presented as the “most ambitious agreement the European has ever offered to a non-member state” – could be the way forward for creating a UK-EU dispute resolution body on trade.

The former judge writes: “The EU single market is probably the most complete regional integration project that exits in the world.

“It relies on the four freedoms of movement, on a strong competition regime and on a very strong regulator activity. The Commission’s surveillance and ECJ’s judicial control are therefore crucial. It is impossible to grant access to third States’ products and services without protecting them.”

This, obviously, poses an issue for the UK who are trying to rid themselves of their ECJ shackles while maintaining near-frictionless trade and a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Professor Dehousse adds: “The EU-Ukraine model probably offers to the UK the best balance between regulatory cooperation and judicial commitments. It is quite advanced for trade in goods.

“For trade in services, it provides a framework within which the regulatory equivalence may be negotiated, sector by sector. The arbitration procedure is also quite flexible.

“Many actual or potential conflicts lay already be settled through negotiation. In case this is not enough, the arbitration panel system also offers different benefits, including speed, reduced costs, and procedural flexibility.

“This means however that for some areas a direct role of the European Court of Justice will have to be conceded. Furthermore, the regulatory equivalence for many services will require long negotiations.”

He does, however, admit the Ukraine option doesn’t serve in the “long term interest of the EU”. The professor concedes the EU could run into serious difficulties under the plan.

He concludes: “The simultaneous application of this model to various bilateral partners of the EU could easily run into serious difficulties.

“Judicially, the EU could also suffer from the spaghetti soup of preferential trade agreements, that could also turn into a judicial soup.

“One other indirect consequence could be that this system, if generalised, increases more the ECJ workload because the EFTA Court does not work as a buffer.”

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