A Brexit trade row is brewing as Britain is only days away from its European Union exit this Friday.
A leaked diplomatic document suggests the EU is preparing to demand that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is able to enforce rules on trade, fishing, and security even after Britain is classified as a third country. Brussels will attempt to gain the upper hand before trade talks start late next month by insisting European judges continue to hold sway in Britain after Brexit.
The UK will leave the European Union on Friday, with the country entering a transition period where relations with the bloc will largely stay the same while negotiators look to thrash out a trade deal before the end of the year.
The document reportedly states that having a defined role for the Luxembourg court, which adjudicates on EU laws, would “ensure consistent interpretation of the agreement” between the UK and EU.
It comes as the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the UK’s insistence on moving away from Brussels-meant trade without some form of customs checks was “impossible”.
Speaking in Belfast, he said: “The UK has chosen to become a third country, to leave the single market and the customs union, to leave behind the EU’s framework of common rules, common supervision and common Court of Justice.
“It has chosen to create two regulatory spaces. This makes frictionless trade impossible. It makes checks indispensable.”
The Vote Leave campaign vowed that Britain would be able to have control of who fishes in UK territorial waters upon leaving the EU and the common fisheries policy (CFP).
At present, the CFP dictates how much British fishermen can catch and where, and fishermen have often complained they do not get a fair share of what is caught in UK waters.
The Taoiseach told the BBC: “What happens in these things is trade-offs.
“You may have to make concessions in areas like fishing in order to get concessions from us in areas like financial services.”
Responding to the comments, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said:
“We are going to be taking control of our fishing waters. We have been clear on that.”