United Kingdom

Brexiteer fury as EU demands its own Strasbourg judges have final say on any EU trade-deal disputes

Brussels is demanding its judges keep control after Britain leaves the European Union, it emerged last night.

The bloc is calling for judges to have the power to rule on any post-Brexit agreement with the UK.

According to an internal diplomatic document, the bloc wants the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to be able to enforce the terms of a trade, fishing and security deal.

Under previous talks, negotiators insisted that the UK follows the EU's rules and regulations in areas such as state aid and environmental protection - in a bid to try and prevent unfair competition.

According to an internal diplomatic document, the bloc wants the European Court of Justice (pictured) to be able to enforce the terms of a trade, fishing and security deal

But new unprecedented proposals, seen by the Times, go even further.

The proposals, briefed to European diplomats, insist that the ECJ must have a role in ruling whether the UK has breached any rules that it signs up to.

The ECJ is based in Luxembourg and rules on matter of EU law.

The leaked document states that the 'UK is a partner like no other', citing its 'geographic proximity... economic interdependence and connectedness'.

The document goes beyond existing free trade agreements to 'ensure consistent interpretation of the agreement and secure the role of the (ECJ) in this respect'.

It also states it is 'seeking inspiration' from the government's withdrawal treaty, which gives the ECJ a significant enforcement role.

This suggests the EU will make significant demands linking Europe's markets to judicial supervision by European judges.

The move - days before Brexit - was condemned by Brexiteers who called on Boris Johnson to 'walk away' from such talks.

The move - days before Brexit - was condemned by Brexiteers who called on Boris Johnson to 'walk away' from such talks

Former cabinet minister Sir Iain Duncan Smith said:  'We have simply got to say no,' he said. 'Nobody in their right minds would accept this and if they continue to pursue this then we simply have to walk away.'

Downing Street sources also rejected the proposal.

A source told the newspaper that the European court was 'by very definition not a neutral arbiter'.

It comes as the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the UK's insistence on moving away from Brussels-made laws and the scrutiny of its judges meant trade without some form of customs checks was 'impossible'.

Speaking in Belfast, he said: 'The UK has chosen to become a third country, to leave the single market and the customs union, to leave behind the EU's framework of common rules, common supervision and common Court of Justice.

'It has chosen to create two regulatory spaces. This makes frictionless trade impossible. It makes checks indispensable.'

In further comments that will be set to worry Brexiteers, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also indicated that Brussels would look for concessions on fishing in exchange for the UK's financial services industry to have better access to the European single market. 

The Vote Leave campaign vowed that Britain would be able to have control of who fishes in UK territorial waters upon leaving the EU and the common fisheries policy (CFP).

At present, the CFP dictates how much British fishermen can catch and where, and fishermen have often complained they do not get a fair share of what is caught in UK waters.

The Taoiseach told the BBC: 'What happens in these things is trade offs.

'You may have to make concessions in areas like fishing in order to get concessions from us in areas like financial services.'