The European Court of Justice can veto any Brexit deal and force the EU and Britain back into a lengthy renegotiation phase, it has emerged.
According to Sir Konrad Schiemann, who was Britain’s representative on the court until 2012, “any agreement that is made between the EU and Parliament is subject to challenge in the European Court of Justice on the subject of powers of the parties who have made that agreement”.
He added: “So the Commission and the people negotiating on behalf of the EU are faced with this problem: they can’t just do what they think is good. They have got to remain within their powers.
“Certainly in so far as they touch on the role of the ECJ. If you exclude the ECJ altogether and for example try and set up a different tribunal – this has been done in various other draft treaties – sometimes the ECJ has said yes that will work and other times it has said it won’t.”
So the ECJ will have the final say. This could prove tricky as Britain wants to pull away from the ECJ’s rule and take back control of its own laws, but could be blocked from doing so. Should the UK not just walk away now?