June 9, 2020 / 12:14 PM / 24 days ago

Britain says Brexit political declaration is not a treaty

FILE PHOTO: A flag is seen outside the Houses of Parliament near the statue of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in London, Britain January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Tuesday that the political declaration it agreed with the European Union is not a treaty and so there are differences of interpretation over it and the bloc cannot set itself up as the ultimate adjudicator of those differences.

The United Kingdom and the European Union agreed the 31-page Political Declaration, which sets out the direction of future negotiations, in October 2019. It is not legally binding.

“The political declaration is not a treaty, there will be differences on both sides to interpretation and the point that we have emphasised in the last few days is that the EU cannot be the referee in that,” Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt told parliament.

Asked about a German constituational court ruling, Mordaunt said it emphasised that the United Kingdom was a sovereign nation and as soon as the EU accepted that then progress could be made in talks on a Brexit free trade deal.

“The German Constitutional Court decision does again emphasise the point that we are a sovereign equal and the EU needs to accept that and its decision will obviously have implications for the EU to consider,” she said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison

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