Politics

No legal basis! Brussels shamed over plot to block Brexit Britain from accord

European Union 'empire should be disbanded' says expert

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The Lugano Convention is an international treaty negotiated by the EU on behalf of its member states and Denmark separately – with European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states. These include Iceland and Norway alongside Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


The treaty aims to clarify which national courts have jurisdiction in cross-border civil and commercial disputes and ensure that judgments taken in such disputes can be enforced across borders.

If the UK successfully applied to join the scheme, then it would result in court judgments being recognised and enforced across UK and EU/EFTA borders much more swiftly and cost-effectively.

UK ministers applied to join the treaty in April 2020 whilst Brexit negotiations were taking place.

However, the EU Commission has issued an assessment of the application which recommended the UK be denied entry to the convention.

Brussels said the decision was made because of Brexit and the UK Government’s decision to have “a more distant relationship” with Brussels afterwards.

The EU paper concluded: “The United Kingdom is a third country without a special link to the internal market.

“Therefore, there is no reason for the European Union to depart from its general approach in relation to the United Kingdom.”

But Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland claimed the UK met “all the criteria for accession.”

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Hitting out at Brussels’ decision, he added: “This assessment is in line with the commission’s long-stated view that participation is linked to the internal market, and that the UK as a third party should have a different arrangement to that of the EU and EFTA.

“Frankly that position has no legal basis.

“We shouldn’t let ideology get in the way of sensible, pragmatic cooperation on issues of mutual interest which are of genuine benefit not just to us but to the EU and to their citizens and businesses.”

A European Commission spokesman said: “The UK applied to join the Lugano Convention on April 8, 2020.

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“The Commission has conducted a thorough assessment of the request and has discussed it with member states.”

The final decision to join the Lugano Convention however rests with the European Council and Express.co.uk understands they are set to follow the Commission’s Assessment.

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