Now Available in English: “The Disastrous Brexit Dinner”

The recent report by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) on Jean-Claude Juncker’s dinner with British PM Theresa May has already triggered a lively political debate on both sides of the channel. For those not fluent in German, it is perhaps welcome that the FAS has taken the rather unusual step of publishing the article again in an English translation on its website here. For readers interested in the legal aspects of future negotiations on Brexit, it is probably most interesting that, in the course of the dinner, May alluded to British opt-in rights under Protocol 36 to the TFEU as a blueprint for “a mutually beneficial reciprocal agreement, which on paper changed much, but in reality, changed little”. It is not reported, though, whether the British Government would suggest a similar strategy with regard to Protocol 21 which deals with opt-in rights of the UK concerning the EU’s legislative acts on private international law as well. It is difficult to imagine how such an approach could be reconciled with the UK Government’s desire to be freed from the judicial surveillance by the CJEU, however. Anyway, the article states that the head of the Commission resolutely rejected any kind of legal window-dressing. So, it seems that Brexit will actually mean Brexit.