The European Commission’s ‘Brexit boss’ yesterday admitted to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that the European Union (EU) reform deal is open to challenge by “clever lawyers”. Today Justice Secretary Michael Gove agreed the deal could be undone by the European Court of Justice despite support from all member states.
Jonathan Faull (pictured), the Director-General of the European Commission’s ‘Task Force for Strategic Issues related to the UK Referendum’ was speaking to MEPs at the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs when he made the comments, reports EurActiv.
Mr. Faull, who although British will not get a say in the referendum as British citizens who have not lived in the UK for 15 years cannot vote in it, said:
“This is written by human beings, I hope clever human beings, but there are equally clever lawyers will want to look into text which will be translated into all our different languages.
“We think it is precise and lawful. I can’t rule out there won’t be arguments about what this word meant in that paragraph. That’s human nature.
“This is not a new EU treaty and does not amend the EU treaties. It is a decision of the Council…
“…It is simply to enshrine in a solemn way what is already possible under the current law.”
David Cameron’s office claims “new settlement” is an irreversible International Law Decision that requires the European Court of Justice to take it into account, but Mr Faull’s comments contradict that.
In an interview with the BBC this morning, Michael Gove — a leading member of the “Leave” campaign — said:
“The facts are that the European Court of Justice is not bound by this agreement until treaties are changed and we don’t know when that will be…
“…I do think it’s important that people also realise that the European Court of Justice stands above every nation state, and ultimately it will decide on the basis of the treaties and this deal is not yet in the treaties.”
Reuters contributed to this report.