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As reported by the UK Times, Britain is looking to concede jurisdictional power to European judges concerning key issues, a move that will surely anger hard-line Brexiteers in the UK’s parliament.

Key quotes

“Britain has privately conceded that EU judges will be legal arbiter of disputes over payments to Brussels and the residency rights of more than three million European citizens.  In an attempt to break the deadlock in a key part of the negotiations the government has agreed to give the European Court of Justice (ECJ) the final say in the arbitration of arguments over the working of Brexit and any disputes over Britain’s £39 billion bill.

Brexiteers said that the concession was another climbdown by Theresa May. Sir Bernard Jenkin, a eurosceptic, said that it was unacceptable and that Brexiteers would reject it in parliament. “This is very profound. It is giving a status to the European Court of Justice in the withdrawal agreement that is not accorded to the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom,” he said. “That makes it a deeply unequal relationship and therefore unacceptable.”

A UK government source insisted that the ECJ would not have the final say. “We have categorically rejected any proposal that would see the court of one side decide disputes,” they said.

Under the withdrawal agreement and a parallel future “association agreement”, the European Commission would be able to go to the ECJ for rulings on European law even if the court’s role is resisted by a British government.

The EU expects future disputes over entitlement for European citizens to bring their non-European spouses or other family members into Britain, rights not enjoyed by British citizens and a source of resentment for many Britons with Commonwealth origins.

Arguments are expected on money, especially over a commitment to pay the pensions of retired EU officials with payments estimated at €260 million ( £231 million) next year.

The draft treaty will give EU judges the ultimate decision over whether to apply a “backstop” for Northern Ireland, potentially giving the ECJ to power to alter Britain’s territorial integrity. But a government spokesman said that the governance of the withdrawal agreement had yet to be agreed and that the “ultimate arbiter of disputes cannot be the court of either side”.

Meanwhile Mrs May’s Tory constituency chairman has said that the prime minister does not have support for making any further concessions beyond Chequers, something that the EU side believes to be inevitable.”