EU bans UK from cross-border agreements on civil courts

London — The European Union has banned Britain from participating in a European agreement to approve a civil court decision. This is a move that could boost the cost of individuals and small businesses seeking legal remedies abroad.

Joining the UK agreement, known as the Lugano Treaty, ended in December last year when it left the EU altogether, and blocking officials said the application for rejoining was rejected.

The Bar Association states that Lugano makes the proceedings more accessible to dissatisfied employees, consumers disappointed with the product, or parents seeking to enforce maintenance orders.

The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, told the Swiss Federal Council, the governor of the treaty, that it was not in a position to agree to join the UK last month, a Commission spokesman said Friday. ..

Lugano will determine the civil and commercial courts of 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, which can hear cross-border disputes.

It also ensures enforcement of judgments to avoid the costly exercise of passing through national courts in connection with disputes.

Last year, the City of London Corporation emphasized the importance of rejoining Lugano to maintain the role of the UK capital in global legal services. He said a significant increase in cross-border conflicts is expected as people try to recoup their losses after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission said in May that Lugano members had some participation in the EU’s domestic market of goods, services, capital and free movement of people, but the UK no longer participated.

Iceland, Norway and Switzerland have endorsed the UK’s accession, but unanimous agreement is required to recognize new members. The EU Member States Working Group on the UK issue shares the position of the Commission, and no further steps are planned, he said.

The alternative treaty, The Hague Convention, 2019, also provides for cross-border approval of civil and commercial decisions, but has not yet come into force.

Hugh Jones

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