As the EU Withdrawal Bill made its way through Parliament I intervened in the debate to call on the Government to confirm, once and for all, that the transition deal is on the basis of the European Court of Justice jurisdiction.
Stephen Kinnock: The hon. Gentleman rightly points out that a transition deal is required and that the Prime Minister’s Florence speech said that that would be on the basis of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and the EU institutions have also said that it has to be on the basis of the ECJ. With that remarkable degree of alignment between the British Government and the EU, should we not now get the Government to confirm once and for all that the transition deal is on the basis of ECJ jurisdiction?
Robert Neill: I must confess that I do not see what some people’s difficulty is with the jurisdiction of the ECJ for a short period. At the end of the day, as everybody concedes, there has to be an arbitral mechanism. I rather agree that it will be difficult to invent one in time, and there may be alternatives, but, as the Justice Committee’s report in the last Parliament pointed out, the involvement of the ECJ in these areas is often extremely limited in terms of the overall amount of our jurisprudence in the courts. It would be foolish to rule out accepting it for a limited period to see us through transition.