Theresa May faced a backlash last night after confirming the UK will be subject to European judges’ rulings during a two-year transition out of the EU
Theresa May faced a backlash last night after confirming the UK will be subject to European judges’ rulings during a two-year transition out of the EU.
The Prime Minister was criticised by some Eurosceptic MPs after warning that Britain could even have to accept some new EU rules after leaving in March 2019.
Senior MPs were last night seeking ‘clarification’ from Downing Street. But Boris Johnson and Michael Gove supported Mrs May, saying the key issue was that the UK would be free to set its own laws after the post-Brexit ‘implementation period’ ended.
The row erupted after Mrs May said the desire for a ‘smooth and orderly’ exit meant the European Court of Justice (ECJ) would still be ‘governing rules’ during a transition for ‘around two years’ from March 2019.
She also confirmed that the UK would have to accept new EU regulations during this period, although she said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that any laws devised after the UK left would become law within two years.
Government sources said last night that the EU had never brought in a law from scratch in less than 29 months.
Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg said it would be ‘unacceptable’ for the ECJ to have any role in British affairs after the UK left.
He added: ‘If we are still under the jurisdiction of the ECJ then we have not left the EU. It does mean that we are not leaving the EU until the end of the transition and that is a big change in Government policy.’
Tory MP Sir Bill Cash said he wanted ‘clarification’ over whether EU treaties would ‘cease to take effect’ after the UK left.
Fellow Eurosceptic Bernard Jenkin also called on No10 to clear up the situation, saying: ‘Most MPs represent constituencies that voted Leave, and they may find it hard to explain why we are not taking back control of our laws on day one.’
Boris Johnson supported Mrs May, saying the key issue was that the UK would be free to set its own laws after the post-Brexit ‘implementation period’ ended
Mr Johnson and Mr Gove issued statements last night designed to calm Brexit supporters’ nerves.
Mr Gove tweeted: ‘That was a strong statement from the PM on Brexit – let’s be pragmatic over implementation to secure maximum freedom to diverge from EU in the end state.’ Writing on Facebook, Mr Johnson said the likelihood of the UK having to accept new EU regulations during the transition was ‘very small’.
He added: ‘Yes we will mostly have to operate under existing rules during the transition but we will be able to negotiate proper free-trade deals and business will be able to prepare properly for Brexit.
‘What matters is the end state and our freedom to do things differently and better – and once again the PM sets out a powerful vision: Out of customs union, out of single market, taking back full control.
‘She has reaffirmed the destination of a self-governing, free-trading, buccaneering and Global Britain taking back control over our laws, money, and borders.
‘The future is bright. Let’s keep calm and carry on leaving the EU.’