I believe that officials in the Brussels Commission and in Whitehall have long recognised that in the real world there is no means of the UK escaping the jurisdiction of the EU. However, they are also aware of the dire political consequences that would flow were it to appear that an unwilling UK was being held prisoner by a self-interested EU. Accordingly, we can expect the Commission and, in due course, the UK government to promote the ‘cover story’ that remaining within the EU’s jurisdiction is a necessity forced on them by the need to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland and the risks that that would pose to the peace achieved under the Good Friday Agreement.
Published by Peter G Harris
Peter G Harris is a barrister and was a senior civil servant responsible for advising ministers in the UK on policy and legislation for reforming the civil law and civil justice system. He is now based at Exeter College in the University of Oxford where he teaches and continues to think about the law as an instrument of public policy. View all posts by Peter G Harris