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The Lugano Convention


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Something else that wasn't on the side of that big red bus.


In fact anyone could be forgiven for never hearing of it.....and typically UK gov have kept quiet about it. I wonder why?


A convention between EU Member States and most EFTA and EEA Member States (except Liechtenstein) that’s virtually unknown outside specialised legal and administrative circles, is causing headlines in mainstream media. Last week, CNN reported under the title: “the explosive Brexit spat that no one is talking about could slam the UK economy”.


If this sounds perhaps a little alarmist, the Lugano Convention, signed in the eponymous Swiss lakeside city in 2007 could very well become notorious among millions of citizens, thousands of businesses and English law courts.


The Lugano Convention clarifies which national courts can deal with certain cross-border civil and commercial legal cases, and provides for easy mutual recognition of rulings.


The UK automatically left the convention when it exited the European Union, but applied for accession in April last year. The EFTA countries and Switzerland expressed their consent for the UK to rejoin pretty swiftly but the EU kept quiet, even beyond the stipulated one-year timeframe for a decision.


Then, in early May this year, the European Commission dropped the bombshell publishing a communication and subsequently informing the Swiss government - depository of the convention - that it was “not in a position to recommend for the United Kingdom to accede”, arguing that the Lugano Convention is a “flanking measure for the EU’s economic relations with the EFTA/EEA countries”, i.e. essentially a Single Market instrument.



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