Court of Appeal holds that UK Courts continue to be bound by CJEU in matters referred before the end of 2020


Jessica Simor QC appeared for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, instructed by The General Counsel and Solicitor to HM Revenue and Customs. The Court ruled that it was bound by decisions made by the Court of Justice of the European Union on references from UK Courts where they were made before the end of the Transitional Period prescribed by the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, even if the judgment itself was provided after the period ended.

In this case, the Court of Appeal referred a question to the CJEU in 2019 but judgment favouring HMRC was not given until June 2021, when the UK had withdrawn from the EU and the Transitional Period had ended. The matter was listed before the Court of Appeal again in February 2022, where it held that, although judgment had come after the UK’s withdrawal, it was still bound to follow the CJEU’s decision on the basis that the initial reference had been in 2019 during the Transitional Period.

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