Britain would never accept being ruled over by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after the country leaves the EU next week, according to a Brexiteer MEP. The Brexit Party MEP James Wells hit back at leaked EU plans that the ECJ could fine the UK “if it breaks EU rules”. Speaking to RT, Mr Wells said: “Brits won’t accept being ruled over by the ECJ after Brexit and being handed down fines like a naughty child.”
Earlier this week, Brussels suggested that any British trade deal with the EU after Brexit should include powers to fine the UK if it breaks European rules.
Commission officials told member state diplomats that breaches of the agreement would be punishable with a “lump sum” or “penalty payment”, payable to Brussels within one month.
The remarks are thought to be part of the EU’s official negotiating terms that will be finalised over the next few weeks.
Under this arrangement, in a move to enrage Brexiteers, the EU also wants its own European Court of Justice (ECJ) to have a starring role in arbitrating the deal.
Responding to these claims, the Brexit Party MEP said: “The EU wants us to sign up to this level playing field where we don’t deviate from EU regulations.
“But UK Government has already said we want to be an independent sovereign state where we make our own laws.
“So, what rules are we talking about? The UK government wants a trade agreement very much based around CETA. The Canadian free trade deal.
“Disputes in that agreement are all about arbitration and are managed in WTO-style courts.
“What the EU is suggesting is oversight by the ECJ where they just hand out fines.
“That is just totally unacceptable to the Government and to the British public that voted overwhelmingly to leave the institutions of the EU.
“This is just posturing, there is no chance of this happening. The UK Government would be in a lot of trouble with the public if it did sign up for this.”
Several Brexiteers view the ECJ as a “foreign court”.
Asked about EU demands for powers to fine the UK, the prime minister’s spokesperson said: “We have not even started negotiations with the EU on our future partnership yet, but we are clear that we want a Canada-style free trade agreement.
“The prime minister has set out that our future UK and EU relationship should be based on friendly co-operation.”
Earlier today, the heads of the European Commission and Council – Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel – have signed the Withdrawal Agreement, ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January.