Shailesh Vara questions the Prime Minister about EU demands on the European Court of Justice

23rd October 2017

Following the Prime Minister's statement on the recent meeting of the European Council, Shailesh Vara questions the PM on EU demands that EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit should still fall under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

I welcome the Prime Minister’s statement and the progress she has reported to the House. I do not believe that EU citizens living in the UK should have the European Court of Justice as the final arbiter of any disputes when we leave the EU. However, to the extent that this matter remains on the agenda for Brussels, will she give an assurance to the House that Britain is demanding that British citizens living in EU countries have recourse to our Supreme Court and not the ECJ?

The point that my hon. Friend makes shows up the issue of which court should have supremacy over such issues. What I have said in relation to citizens’ rights, which is one of the issues that remain on the table, is that we will give certainty to EU citizens in the United Kingdom by ensuring that what is agreed as part of the withdrawal agreement is put into UK law. They will then be able to take cases to the courts here in the United Kingdom. Of course, it is the case that courts here in the UK look at judgments that have been made by other courts, not just the ECJ, in matters where they are relevant. The important thing is that it is through our courts that EU citizens will be able to take their cases.

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