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The government must offer clarity on the ECJ—and soon

Its recent position paper on the Court—and what comes next—did not provide nearly enough detail

By Alex Dean  

Photo: Thomas Frey/DPA/PA Images

Read more about the European Court of Justice

In government documents, one word can be the difference between a statement of the obvious and a significant policy change. Last month’s paper on the European Court of Justice, titled “Enforcement and dispute resolution—a future partnership paper,” was a case in point. All the discussion quickly focused around one word in the document: “direct.”

Having spent a year pledging to end the jurisdiction of the ECJ, the paper made clear that May will now look only to end “direct jurisdiction.” Legal commentators had…

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