Time for a Brexit bonfire of EU laws that run counter to UK instincts -by Barnabas Reynolds 21.04.21

This very timely article by Barnabas Reynolds for the Telegraph explains why the legal system in the EU is incompatible with the UK.


Barnabas Reynolds is a partner at Shearman & Sterling and the author of Restoring UK Law, published by Politeia


His article begins:


As the clash between the EU and the UK on how to achieve an invisible north-south border on the island of Ireland reminds us, the EU and the UK have very different mindsets — not least about their respective systems of law.


The absence of consensus on the Irish border follows protracted attempts by the UK to offer practical solutions which the EU then rejects on theoretical grounds. As the French management saying goes: “That works all very well in practice, but it will never work in theory.”


The system of English common law is inherently liberal. It is based on case law precedent, judicial decisions detached from politics, limited Parliamentary intervention and a respect for freedom. The continental, code-based systems, which owe much to 19th century attempts to shoehorn life into rationalist and scientific thinking, differ significantly. They reflect a more centralised, controlling method, sceptical of the market.


The codes reign supreme and embody top-down political choices. They reflect the societies within which they operate. It was Karl Friedrich von Moser, the German jurist, state journalist and politician, who wrote in 1758 that “each nation has its main characteristic. In Germany it is obedience, in England it is liberty, in France, the honour of the King”.


These characteristics are echoed in their respective approaches to the law, and the EU’s system can be seen to reflect a Franco-German approach.


For the full article in pdf, please click on the link below:

Article by Barnabas Reynolds for the Tel
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