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Home > Country profiles > UK (England and Wales) > Articles > Article detail

Brexit will need new dispute resolution mechanism

Sunday, 13th February 2017

"A new mechanism for dispute resolution between the UK and the EU will be needed following Brexit, the government says today. A long-awaited white paper on the UK's 'exit from and new partnership with' the EU proposes a mechanism along the lines of those commonly set up in trade deals. The arbitration system negotiated as part of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is mooted as an example. 

'As with any wide-ranging agreement between states, the UK will seek to agree a new approach to interpretation and dispute resolution with the EU,' the paper states. 'This is essential to reassure businesses and individuals that the terms of any agreement can be relied upon, that both parties will have a common understanding of what the agreement means and that disputes can be resolved fairly and efficiently.'

It notes that CETA, which has yet to be ratified, establishes a joint committee to supervise the implementation and application of the agreement, under which parties can refer disputes to an ad hoc arbitration panel if necessary. However such procedures have proved controversial, with campaigners describing them as 'secret corporate courts'

The white paper says that: 'The actual form of dispute resolution in a future relationship with the EU will be a matter for negotiations between the UK and the EU, and we should not be constrained by precedent. Any arrangements must be ones that respect UK sovereignty, protect the role of our courts and maximise legal certainty, including for businesses, consumers, workers and other citizens.'"

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Language: English
Contact: Michael Cross

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