May-Juncker dispute over ECJ role for EU citizens until 2030s

Faisal Islam, Political Editor

Differences at the negotiation lunch between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker centred mainly on the issue of the potential ongoing role until the 2030s for the European Court of Justice, Sky News understands.

:: LIVE: PM under pressure from Brexiteers

The ECJ would retain a role in interpreting EU law as it applies to a deal on EU citizens in the UK

Sky sources say that at the lunch, the EU side argued that the length of time for this continuing ECJ role should be 15 years.

The UK position was that it should last no longer than five years.

This dispute, which is of particular concern to the European Parliament and its ability to sign off sufficient progress in a vote next week, was the principal debate until the lunch paused and the PM received a phone call from DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Though a possible compromise is clear, at the moment the issue is not settled, and has been somewhat underplayed relative to the ructions over a settlement on regulatory alignment in Northern Ireland.

The role of the ECJ and "ending jurisdiction" has been a centrepiece of the PM's Brexit strategy.

In recent months that has become "ending the direct jurisdiction" of the ECJ.

Brexiteers in Parliament have expressed disquiet about any role for the ECJ after Brexit day in 2019.

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