UK could remain subject to ECJ during transitional period after Brexit, says Damian Green – Politics live – The Guardian (blog)
But there was an interesting concession on Brexit. Green, who is one of the most pro-European figures in the cabinet, was asked about the European court of justice continuing to have a say over British affairs after the UK leaves the EU. He defended Theresa May’s decision to make freeing the UK from the grip of the ECJ in the long term a red line. He told the Today programme.
It’s not an ideological determination. It is what people voted for in the referendum … If we said now ‘Well, we’re going to stay inside the single market, which will mean that the European court will decide some basic questions that happen inside this country’, I think people would feel that we hadn’t left the European Union.
But, when he was asked if the government would be willing to remain subject to ECJ rulings during the transitional period – the period between Britain leaving at the end of March 2019 and rules creating a new relationship with the EU coming fully into effect – he effectively said yes. He said:
If there needs to be some kind of implementation period, or transition period, in certain areas after March 2019, which I think everyone agrees is quite likely, then the rules that operate during that transition period will by definition not be the rules that we have afterwards.
When Nick Robinson asked him to confirm that this meant being subject to ECJ rulings during this period, Green went on:
But that is a transition period. That will last for a limited amount of time, for practical reasons, to make sure that business can have the certainty to carry on as we want it to.
It has always been probable that a transitional period would involve the ECJ continuing to have a say over Britian. But in the past ministers have tried to avoid being as explicit as this.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: Greg Clark, the business secretary, gives a speech on industrial strategy to the Resolution Foundation.
9.30am: The Office for National Statistics publishes a report on migration between Britain and the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.
11am: Number 10 lobby briefing.
1.30pm: Theresa May holds a press conference with the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
2.30pm: Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to publish a summary at lunchtime and another in the afternoon.
You can read all today’s Guardian politics stories here.
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