Laws from Europe 'a Gordian knot which will still bind us after Brexit'
European Union law will continue to affect Britons even after Brexit, a former UK attorney general has warned.
Dominic Grieve, a barrister and Conservative MP for Beaconsfield, says tens of thousands of acts, court verdicts and international standards bind UK citizens by virtue of Britain's EU membership.
Although Mr Grieve was referring solely to the UK, his analysis also has a bearing on Gibraltar, where 70% of legislation is linked to the EU.
In an article in a legal magazine, he says that Brexit presents a Gordian knot.
"The best estimate is that there are now at least 40,000 legal acts, 15,000 court verdicts and 62,000 international standards binding on us by virtue of EU membership," he writes in Counsel.
"It affects private rights such as intellectual property and data protection ... Then there are all those other areas ... that confer rights on us as EU citizens, in areas such as freedom of movement and of capital and rights of establishment, voting rights for the EU Parliament, anti-discrimination laws, competition law and human rights.”
"It has to be for Parliament to consider such issues and question the Government on its strategy as to how these rights and obligations will be preserved, altered or unravelled."
He said the referendum vote had triggered a task "fraught with legal complexity".
He wrote: "The EU is primarily a treaty about creating a single market.
"But that does not mean that Brexit can be neatly compartmentalised away from our interests in other areas in which the EU has an impact.
"All of this will have to be negotiated as well. It must also mean, at the end of the day, that decisions of the European Court of Justice and EU law ... will continue to impact on us even if the direct effect of EU law is removed."
Mr Grieve backed the Remain campaign in the referendum.
The term Gordian knot is derived from Greek legend and is used to describe a complex or unsolvable problem.