Britain must not accept Germany’s proposed EU court in disguise

Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project warns that the latest German proposal for a joint EU-UK court is merely an extension of the CJEU by other means, ahead of the UK presenting formal proposals for the future of EU citizens in Britain next week. Having shown why continuing CJEU jurisdiction over post-Brexit Britain will not work, Visiting Scholar Gunnar Beck now says that Germany’s proposal for an EU-UK court which follows the CJEU will not be impartial.

Dr Beck said:

“German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel proposed a formally balanced court, composed of EU and UK judges, to settle any future disputes between the two parties – which he hopes will follow the decisions of the ECJ. This is modelled on the ‘EFTA Court’ which Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein had to join to get full access to the single market alongside their membership of EFTA.

“A quasi-EFTA court would mean the UK continuing to accept the jurisdiction of the CJEU, albeit indirectly. The judges of the EU-UK court would not be independent – they would be little more than functionaries asked to apply CJEU decisions.  This ‘agency’ role is not appropriate for a transnational tribunal asked to settle disputes between sovereign states.

“The UK’s future legal relationship with the EU must be overseen by a court which ensures that words mean what they say and not simply whatever it may be that best suits the European Union. The UK mustn’t submit to German, or any other European, judges.”