EU reforms ‘not legally binding’ – Michael Gove – BBC News

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Media captionMichael Gove: EU court stands above nation states

Justice Secretary Michael Gove has challenged David Cameron’s claim his renegotiation deal with EU leaders over the UK’s membership is legally binding.

Mr Gove, one of five cabinet ministers calling for the UK to quit the EU, told the BBC the European Court of Justice could throw out some of the changes.

But attorney general Jeremy Wright said the deal was “irreversible”.

He said that was not only his opinion, but also the view of the government’s lawyers and European lawyers.

And Downing Street cited a former director of legal services at the EU, Alan Dashwood, who said the “Decision” was a binding legal agreement reached by consensus and could only be amended or rescinded by consensus – or, “in other words, with the agreement of the UK”.

“So, in that sense, it is irreversible,” he said.

In an interview with the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg, his first since he opted to oppose Mr Cameron in the referendum, Mr Gove also said:

  • His “deep feelings” on the issue outweighed his friendship with the prime minister when deciding which way to campaign
  • Leaving the EU would enable the UK to control the “type” of migrants who entered the country
  • EU rules are constraining the UK’s ability to make key decisions on infrastructure
  • He did not urge Boris Johnson to back EU exit during a dinner last week

A UK referendum on whether to remain a member of the EU will take place on 23 June.

The reform deal paving the way for the referendum promises changes to the EU’s binding treaties in two areas – exemption for the UK from an “ever-closer union” and protection for countries not using the euro – although it does not specify when this will happen.

EU reforms ‘not legally binding’ – Michael Gove – BBC News