Europeans living in the UK will be “a super-privileged caste” with more rights than Britons if the European Union (EU) has its way in Brexit negotiations, experts have said.
The UK will also be subjected to a form of colonialism, Professor Franklin Dehousse, an expert in EU law at the University of Liège, believes, if EU courts retain their supremacy over British law after it has left the bloc and lost its ability to influence laws and appointments.
The authoritarian demands come from the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured). In a paper for the unelected body, he insisted the European Court of Justice (ECJ) oversees “directly enforceable vested rights” for EU nationals in the UK and Britons in Europe after Brexit.
According to the plans, Europeans would have the right to bring non-European family members to the UK, send welfare and pension benefits to family abroad, and retain full access to public services and employment on the same terms as Brits.
“This could create an incredible legal vipers’ nest,” the professor wrote in a paper for the Belgian Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations.
“It is hard to justify that EU migrants, through the maintaining of many European regulations, will become some sort of a super-privileged caste in the future UK.”
Furthermore, “the UK would… become the only [non-EU] state submitted to the full and direct jurisdiction of the ECJ,” he wrote.
— Franklin DEHOUSSE (@FrDe2059) May 30, 2017
“One wonders how this is considered acceptable for a sovereign state. Such a state would thus be bound by decisions taken by a judicial authority where it is not represented and whose judges would be appointed by its potential opponents!
“The solution looks a lot like the leonine treaties imposed by England on China in the 19th century.”
Continuing down this line was “dangerous” the Belgian professor said, as “loading the boat excessively… generates conflicts and makes a final deal less likely”.
“There will be other exits from the EU,” he added. “We thus need to reflect carefully to create future incentives for fair deals and not systematic clashes. Article 50 was invented, after all, to show that the EU was not a prison. We must apply it accordingly.”
The professor also implied the €100,000 billion “divorce bill” was excessive and suggested the EU was being unreasonable in its hardline demands.
There was a “need for the [EU] to be, and to appear, fair in this procedure”, he said. “This is not a war, but a divorce, and all of us should strive to make it an amiable one.”
The extent to which the EU is pushing for European nationals to have superior rights to Brits was made apparent in an EU legal opinion issued last week, reported by The Times.
It said an Algerian illegal had the right to live in the UK with his wife, who has Spanish and British nationality, without proving her income. Currently, a Briton wanting to do the same and bring a non-EU spouse into the UK needs to prove they have an income of at lead £18,600.