UK minister claims Cameron’s EU deal not yet legally binding

English Justice Secretary Michael Gove
English Justice Secretary Michael Gove

The English Justice Secretary Michael Gove has claimed the UK’s renegotiation deal with the EU is not yet legally binding.

Contrary to Number 10’s view that the agreement has “legal force”, Mr Gove said the European Court of Justice could still throw out some of the changes until they are made to the European treaties: the Treaty on European Union and theTreaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Number 10, however, cited Alan Dashwood, former director of legal services at the EU, who claimed the decision could only be modified with “the agreement of the UK”.

“So, in that sense, it is irreversible,” he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron previously said the deal is “already legally binding and irreversible”, and could only be overturned with the consent of all EU states including the UK.

The deal would see the treaties amended to exempt the UK from “ever-closer union” – one of the core tenets of European union – and protection for countries who do not use the Euro.

Mr Gove told the BBC: “The facts are that the European Court of Justice is not bound by this agreement until treaties are changed and we don’t know when that will be.”

He said that, while Mr Cameron has not misled anyone, “I do think it’s important that people also realise that the European Court of Justice stands above every nation state, and ultimately it will decide on the basis of the treaties and this deal is not yet in the treaties.”

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