David Cameron's EU deal 'not legally binding', says Michael Gove

Written by Sebastian Whale on 24 February 2016 in News

Justice Secretary says European Court of Justice could overturn Prime Minister's agreement

Reforms to the UK’s membership of the EU negotiated by Prime Minister David Cameron are not yet legally binding and could be overturned by the European Court of Justice, Michael Gove has warned. 

The Justice Secretary has already announced he will campaign for a Brexit.

The Prime Minister had insisted that the agreement signed by EU member states, which will be deposited at the UN, is irreversible until treaty change can occur at a future date, but in an interview with the BBC Gove said until the treaties are modified the ECJ is “not bound” by the agreement.


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“The whole point about the European Court of Justice is that it stands above the nation states,” Gove said.

The former education secretary said while Mr Cameron has “not been misleading anyone” into believing his reform package was water tight, he added:

"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."

Number 10 has since insisted the deal has "legal force" and is an "irreversible International Law Decision".

Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Gove said leaving the European Union marks a “tremendous opportunity for Britain to recover its mojo”, as he labelled the bloc an “old-fashioned” model.

At last week’s European Council, Mr Cameron secured an “emergency brake” on EU migrants’ access to in-work benefits and curbs on child benefits, which will be indexed to the country the child is from.

He also obtained an opt out for Britain from the principle of ever-closer union and protections for the City of London.

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