European Union (EU) citizens living in the UK after Brexit will be able to use British courts to enforce their rights under the withdrawal agreement, meaning they will have more rights than British citizens.
Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis has conceded that mechanisms guaranteeing the future rights of the some three million EU citizens living in the UK would have “direct effect” in British law, reports The Times.
The government has also conceded that British courts can “take account” of European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings when interpreting any such new law.
Confirming the government’s u-turn, Mr. Davis said: “The UK has committed to incorporating the final withdrawal agreement fully into UK law. Direct effect if you like.”
The statement contradicts a policy note published in July by Davis’s department which read: “It would be both inappropriate and unnecessary for the agreement to require the UK to bring the EU concept of direct effect into its domestic law.”
Brexit campaigner and member of parliament tipped to be a future Conservative Party leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said any legislation must not set EU citizens’ rights in “aspic”, less one week after challenging the prime minister to clarify the jurisdiction of the ECJ during the two-year implementation period when the country will be tied to the bloc until 2021.
“As the rights of UK citizens evolve then the same must be true for EU nationals in the UK,” he said.
“You could not have a situation where an EU citizen living in the UK had more rights than a British citizen. That would give them the status of colonial occupiers.”
In June, Breitbart London reported that experts warned EU citizens living in the UK could end up being treated as “a super-privileged caste” with more rights than Britons if Brexit negotiations on residency rights go in favour of the supranational bloc where “the UK would… become the only [non-EU] state submitted to the full and direct jurisdiction of the ECJ.”