BrexitCentral: We must not submit to an unequal treaty on EU citizens’ rights

26 November 2017

When we leave the European Union on 29th March 2019, we shall automatically regain control of our laws and our courts. No foreign court will have the right to overrule British courts, or tell us what laws they must enforce within the UK.

We do not need the permission of the European Union or of anyone else to achieve this, which is the normal position in any sovereign, independent state. The only way we could fail to achieve this is if through an act of craven, self-harming stupidity we were to agree to being ruled over by a foreign court.

It is therefore a matter of dismay to see stories (such as that written by James Forsyth in The Sun over the weekend) saying that non-attributable government sources are indicating that the government may be contemplating a so-called “compromise” proposal under which UK courts would make preliminary references for rulings by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on questions to do with EU citizens’ rights.

This would be quite extraordinary. Not since the “unequal” treaties between the Western powers and China during the 19th Century has a self-governing sovereign state agreed that the rights of foreign citizens within its territory be regulated by a foreign court.

To read Martin Howe’s piece for BrexitCentral in full, click here.

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