Britain outlines plans to break free of European Court after Brexit

British Prime Minister, Theresa May

Britain on Wednesday outlined several escape routes from the “direct jurisdiction” of the European Court of Justice after Brexit, one of Prime Minister Theresa May’s key aims in talks to unstitch 40 years of EU membership.

In a government paper on the highly-sensitive topic which touches British sovereignty, Britain set out its determination in negotiations to reach a tailor-made agreement to enforce its own laws and resolve disputes once it has left the bloc in March 2019.

The paper drew attention to several EU agreements which do not require the Luxembourg-based court’s direct jurisdiction over other countries – a clear attempt to encourage more flexibility among EU officials who are protective of the court.

May herself said breaking free of the ECJ’s jurisdiction meant that Britain would be able to make its own laws and British judges and courts would enforce them.

“We will take back control of our laws,” she told reporters in southern England, in a denial of suggestions by opposition lawmakers that she had watered down her demands by qualifying her words to say “direct” jurisdiction and opening the way to “indirect influence”.

Her words were intended to placate many pro-Brexit lawmakers in her governing Conservative Party who say the ECJ has slowly sucked power from Britain’s courts and parliament.

But they could further harden the EU’s stance on the court. A partner from international law firm Bird & Bird said any such debate could also delay an agreement with the EU on the divorce, Reuters reports.

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