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Public opinion on the ECJ spells trouble for Sunak

European Courts of Justice

The European courts have come to represent everything Brexiteers hate about the EU Credit: Rex

Public opinion on the ECJ spells trouble for Sunak

Tony Diver By Tony Diver,
European judges have become the bogeymen of British politics.

Seldom a day goes by when the newspapers do not refer to the overweening influence of continental bureaucrats-in-wigs passing judgment on domestic matters.

The European courts have come to represent everything Brexiteers hate about the EU after it was portrayed in the 2016 referendum campaign as unaccountable and remote.

So much became clear in a More in Common poll for The Sunday Telegraph last week, which showed almost three quarters of Britons would support a Northern Ireland Protocol deal with the EU that removed any oversight of the European Court of Justice.

The issue is one of the most divisive in the ongoing Protocol negotiations, after the UK set a red line that the ECJ would have no involvement in policing trade disputes between both sides after a deal is reached.

But the polling suggests the public’s view aligns with the Brexiteer wing of the Conservative Party, who have been urging Rishi Sunak not to abandon that commitment in favour of a quicker deal with Brussels.

ERG figures have already expressed their concern that Mr Sunak appears less hardline on Brexit than his predecessor, Liz Truss, who pledged to excise the ECJ’s involvement in trade disputes entirely.

Brexiteers worry that the ECJ would not be a neutral arbiter in any future disagreement between the UK and EU, and that its power would represent everything the Brexit vote tried to remove.

The polling also sends a clear message to Sir Keir Starmer — that any softening of the Labour Party’s Brexit position will spell disaster for its strategy to win back the Red Wall.

More in Common’s polling sub-group representing Red Wallers said they would be less likely to vote for Sir Keir if he proposed rejoining the single market or customs union at the 2024 election.

Although a substantial proportion of the public (30 per cent) still think rejoining the EU itself would be a good policy, the number appears to be falling as Remainers join the “Make Brexit Work” camp that both Mr Sunak and Sir Keir are trying to capture.

If the latest numbers are anything to go by, they would do well to avoid any European judicial oversight.

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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