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May’s Plans for Quick Brexit Trade Deal Muddied by EU Court View


(Ian Wishart & Stephanie Bodoni – Bloomberg)

An opinion by the European Union’s top court on Wednesday may pave the way for an important Brexit precedent after it said that ratification by EU institutions isn’t enough to pass a trade deal with Singapore.

For U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, the implications could be big. The EU Court of Justice advocate-general’s view that member states must also approve the accord with the Asian city state means May might have to negotiate with 27 other national parliaments and in some cases their regional lawmakers if she wants a wide-ranging trade agreement with the bloc. So much for her plan to wrap up talks in 18 months.

The Court opinion gives “a sense of the legal gymnastics that are involved in EU trade policy, and which may also need to be deployed in U.K.-EU talks,” said Aarti Shankar, policy analyst at the London-based Open Europe think tank. Click here to read more.