Eurosceptics want to ‘take control’ – but if the UK wants to maintain close links with the EU, it will need a compatible legal system

Since the UK voted to leave the EU, Theresa May has tried to boil down arguments over Brexit to simple soundbites. One of the favourite phrases deployed by the prime minister and her team is that the United Kingdom will “take back control” from Europe – over money, borders, and laws.

In a speech in January laying out the government’s negotiating stance, May was clear on the legal dimension of departure. Brexit would see the UK making a clear break from the jurisdiction of the European court of justice (ECJ), the Luxembourg-based guardian and interpreter of EU law, as it leaves the single market and customs union.

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