The Telegraph, 25 February, Barnabas Reynolds
As it looks to take advantage of Brexit, the UK should unpick the legacy of the EU’s codified legal system and restore fully its own common law. Doing so will bring many opportunities to the City and the millions benefiting from the financial services sector across the country.
Not only does common law underpin the world’s most successful financial centres – London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong – but the evidence shows the superiority of common law for economic growth. Financial centres being established in the Middle East and elsewhere are adopting the common law.
The common law values individual and business liberty. It relies on independent judges and evolves with change, and it has no single, omniscient creator. This leaves it to focus on appropriate remedies and liabilities, and limited restrictions where those are necessary.
By contrast, EU law has developed largely on the continental model, based on the civil law approach and developed using the Franco-German, code-based systems of the 19th century. These seek to provide answers in advance for any problem. The code is likely to set out both rights and restrictions, putting them in tension with one another. The scheme is designed for control.
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