Sunday, May 21, 2017

EU Court Judgement Facilitates Brexit Trade Deal.

The ECJ ruling is the "most important for 20 years" say experts
The ECJ ruling is the "most important for 20 years" say experts CREDIT: REUTERS
Britain’s ambition to sign a quick Free Trade Agreement with the European Union after Brexit has received a significant boost after a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice handed expanded trade negotiation powers to Brussels.
The much-anticipated decision from the court in Luxembourgsurprised experts by ruling that on key areas - including financial services and transport - the European Union does not need to seek ratification of a trade deal by the EU’s 38 national and local parliaments.
Trade experts said the ECJ ruling could substantially reduce the risk of any future EU-UK free trade agreement getting bogged down in the EU national parliaments, opening the way for an FTA to be agreed by a qualified majority vote of EU member states.
This is the most significant ECJ case on EU trade policy for twenty years and has huge ramifications for any UK-EU FTANicole Kar, Linklaters
“The Court of justice says all services - even transport - can be ratified by a qualified majority vote, which is potentially quite a big opening for the UK,” said Steve Peers, professor of EU law at Essex University. “It could certainly make things easier.”
In the ruling, the ECJ was asked to decide whether the new-generation bilateral EU-Singapore trade deal should be treated as a so-called ‘mixed’ agreement - that requires ratification by national parliaments - or could be agreed by a qualified majority vote of member states.
The court ruled that the EU did not have exclusive competence to conclude the Singapore deal, but said that only in two narrow areas - namely non-direct foreign investment and the investor-state dispute resolution mechanisms - did it need to seek ratification by national parliaments.
By contrast, the court said the EU did have competence to conclude agreements without ratification across the great majority of the Singapore agreement - contradicting parts of a previous opinion by the court’s advocate-general. Telegraph.

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