00:17 GMT +319 July 2019
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    Picture taken on April 23, 2015 shows the audience room of the European Court for Human Rights, in Strasbourg, eastern France

    EU Threatens to Kill Security Pact if UK Ditches European Court of Human Rights

    © AFP 2019 / PATRICK HERTZOG
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    Brussels’ threat comes just days after a UK cabinet minister reiterated the British government’s desire for the “closest possible” security arrangement after Brexit.

    The European Union has threatened to sever its security links with the United Kingdom and reject its attempts to forge a deep and lasting alliance after Brexit unless London concedes to remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, according to UK press reports.

    Britain remaining a party to the Court of Human Rights would, in Brussels' view, shore up the legal status of the several million EU nationals currently resident in the United Kingdom.

    The reported threat has come just days after David Lidington, the Minister for the Cabinet Office reiterated to the national broadcaster that his country was seeking to form as close a security relationship with the continent as possible once it is has left the economic and political bloc.

    One of the possibilities reportedly being explored is the formation of a joint UK-EU military intervention force in which Britain would command its own forces separately from its European counterparts.

    Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly committed her government to withdrawing the UK from all economic and legal institutions of the European Union, including the Customs Union, the Single Market and the European Court of Justice. Attempts to extricate Britain from the latter's jurisdiction has proven particularly challenging for the PM as she faces stiff resistance from members of her own party, led by former attorney general Dominic Grieve who has publicly refused to follow the Conservative leadership "over a cliff" by giving his unqualified support to its Brexit vision. 

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    Tags:
    EU nationals, security agreement, Hard Brexit, settlement, Brexit, European Union, European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Customs Union, Dominic Grieve, Theresa May, Europe, United Kingdom
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