Boris Johnson’s plan to allow British judges to revoke the sentences of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) after Brexit is inappropriate and must be stripped of legislation, a group of high-ranking peers warned.
The members of the Committee of the Constitution of Lords sounded the alarm about the Prime Minister’s plan to break Theresa May’s commitment to transfer all EU legislation to national statute books, which meant that it could only be revoked by the Supreme Court or the High Court of Justice in Scotland. .
Instead, Johnson added a clause in the Draft Retirement Agreement Act (WAB), which is under scrutiny of the Lords before the Brexit deadline of January 31, to allow ministers the power to lead to the courts on the interpretation of EU law and allow the lower courts the power. to revoke the decisions of the ECJ.
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The committee, which includes several conservative peers, said the measure raised “substantial constitutional concerns” and urged the government to eliminate it from the legislation, preparing a confrontation over the bill in the upper house.
Johnson’s Brexit agreement sailed through its Commons stages with an overwhelming majority last week, but it must undergo line-by-line scrutiny in the Lords before it can become law.
Guiding the bill through the unharmed Lords will be a more difficult challenge for the prime minister, where conservatives have no majority to force through their legislative agenda.
In a new critical report, the Lords committee said: “We do not believe it is appropriate that courts other than the Supreme Court and the High Court of Justice of Scotland have the power to deviate from the interpretations of EU jurisprudence.” .
“Allowing lower courts to reinterpret the risks of EU jurisprudence can cause significant legal uncertainty that would be detrimental to individuals and businesses.”
He adds: “We cannot see the case of such broad and constitutionally significant powers for regulation, and we are not convinced by the justification offered by the government.”
The unions previously warned that allowing British courts to overturn the decisions of the ECJ could allow exploiting employers to try to challenge protections for low-paid workers, which are enshrined in EU legislation.
The co-worker, Baroness Taylor, who chairs the committee, said: “The government should reconsider the implications of clause 26 and the potential for significant legal uncertainty if lower courts have the power to deviate from previous CJEU jurisprudence. and previous internal interpretations of EU law retained.
“The government should also provide for a selection process for scrutiny of the instruments made under the bill, as recommended by the Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform.”
Liberal Democrat Deputy Alistair Carmichael said the report was “condemnatory in his accusation of Boris Johnson’s recklessness” towards Brexit.
He said The independent: “Giving power to the ministers without control and eliminating parliamentary scrutiny is a dangerous movement that risks undermining our democracy. It shows that this conservative government is determined to continue trying to surpass our institutions to its own end.
“We have checks and balances for a reason. If Boris Johnson’s agreement is as good as he says, there is no reason to grant the lower courts these powers by creating gray areas, if not a complete legal limbo.”
Attempts to amend Brexit legislation are likely to arrive next week, when peers move on to the report stage of the bill.
Meanwhile, Johnson insisted that it was “epic likely” that the United Kingdom could achieve a comprehensive EU trade agreement at the end of the transition period in December 2020.
He told the BBC Breakfast: “Obviously, we must always budget for a complete failure of common sense, that is evident, but I am very, very, very sure that we will get an (agreement).
“It’s not about an agreement, it’s about building a great new partnership. And as of January 31, what we’re going to do is start working with our friends and partners around the world, not just with the EU.” .
“We are going to start building new relationships with friends and partners around the world.”