By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last updated: October 23rd, 2012
To all intents and purposes, the UK is already out. We stayed still. Europe galloped away without us.
No doubt we can find some elegant formula to paper over the split. As my friend Daniel Hannan puts it, we could devise a Swiss arrangement while pretending that we are still EU members. No point frightening the horses.
For those readers who missed it, the UK is preparing to pull out of almost all areas of “Justice and Home Affairs”, the so-called Pillar III of EU jurisdiction. (Pillar I is the single market, and Pillar II is foreign affairs)
This is revolutionary. We are withdrawing from 130 directives, covering everything from the European Arrest Warrant, the European Public Prosecutor, to the European justice department (Eurojust).
Luckily, Tony Blair negotiated the right to a mass opt-out on this Pillar III corpus to be exercised before it all becomes justiciable at the European Court (ECJ) in 2014, a move that would transform the ECJ into Britain’s supreme court. (The same ECJ that rubber-stamped the rights violations of Connolly, Andreasen and Tillack, and against which there is no further appeal.)