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An end to the ‘direct jurisdiction’ of the CJEU: ‘red line’ or pink blur?

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Post-Brexit, unless the UK government changes its current stance, the UK courts will no longer be able to seek preliminary rulings from the CJEU. However, the CJEU is likely to remain a highly relevant source of case law in the tax world for the indefinite future. This is because, under the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, the UK courts are likely to follow the CJEU in interpreting retained EU law (which is likely to include, in particular, VAT and customs issues). Furthermore, the government’s recent Brexit position paper on enforcement and dispute resolution suggests at least an indirect role for the CJEU as regards interpreting any future UK commitments made under a ‘deep and special partnership’ which mirror EU law.

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