U.K. to Stay in EU Court Post-Brexit, Negotiator Tells Guardian

  • European Parliament’s Verhofstadt expects transition agreement
  • Divergence of views between Britain and Europe, newspaper says

The U.K. will be subject to the European Court of Justice for years after leaving the bloc if transitional deals are put in place, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator said in a interview published Saturday in the Guardian newspaper.

Guy Verhofstadt said European Union negotiators were preparing to push back on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s promises to remove Britain from all European laws after exiting the bloc in 2019. Verhofstadt, a former Belgium prime minister, said he expected a transition deal to be adopted after Britain settles its debts to the EU and before leaving.

Guy Verhofstadt

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Asked if Britain would still be under EU court’s jurisdiction after 2019, he told the newspaper: “The starting point from the European side will be yes.”

May plans to formally start two years of withdrawal talks with the EU in March. A transitional agreement with the EU will allow Britain to negotiate a new trade accord with the bloc.

Verhofstadt’s comments signal that Britain is on a collision course with the government in Brussels. Five Brussels-based diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, this week said May’s vision for Brexit is antagonizing EU governments, raising the risk that negotiations deteriorate into a bust-up even worse than first expected.

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