There is an interview in the Indie this morning with lawyer David Edward in which he lambastes the 'invincible ignorance' of those who think the UK can escape the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Edward sat as an ECJ judge, but perhaps not a very balanced one as his argument here is utterly distorted and deeply misleading.
"You can escape the jurisdiction of the ECJ, but you have got to comply with EU standards if you are going to export into the EU. And who decides what these standards are ultimately if there’s a problem? It’s the ECJ." Edward is quoted as saying. Uhm, yes. But EU exporters wishing to sell to the UK - by far the greater value of goods - must in turn comply with UK standards. And who will decide what those standards are if ultimately there's a problem? The UK Supreme Court and English / Scottish appeal courts.
Never have I heard any Brexiteer suggest that British courts should exercise Extra Territorial Jurisdiction to decide what product standards within the EU should be. It's a nonsense. Edward is refuting a claim that no-one has made. His argument is specious and fallacious; in exercising our own jurisdiction over trade, competition and commercial law for all actions within UK territorial boundaries of course we escape ECJ jurisdiction. I weep for the 'invincible ignorance' of those like Edward in a state of denial over this fundamental reality. On our land, in our skies and upon our seas out to the 200 mile economic limit, British courts will exercise sole jurisdiction. British laws, British standards, British judgements and British penalties will prevail.
And of course EU citizens will continue to enjoy access to UK courts to resolve matters within British territorial jurisdiction just as UK citizens will continue to enjoy access to the ECJ to resolve matters within EU jurisdiction. If a Polish single mum feels she is wrongly being denied a British welfare benefit, she has exactly the same recourse to our legal system as any Brit. And likewise a Brit in Europe to the ECJ. What exactly is the problem?
It's a manufactured issue, promoted by those who wish to preserve such bonds of slavery to Euro Federalism beyond Brexit. English common law never did fit well, if at all, with the Napoleonic codex approach of the mainland, yet it maintains itself as both a superior body of law and a more equitable legal jurisdiction than the 'political' fandangling of the ECJ.