Max Walters’ article (Gazette, 5 March, ‘Ratify the EU patent court, Egan tells minister’) says that the government has previously recognised that the UPC is ‘not an EU institution but an international patent court’. However, the agreement setting up the UPC is only open to EU members and hears disputes relating to EU issues (in this case patents). It thus bears a very strong resemblance to the ECJ.
It must surely follow that, in accepting the ECJ’s jurisdiction over all the EU agencies that the UK wishes to remain in thus far, there can be no question of one of the prime minister’s ‘redlines’ being crossed. This is because, in accepting the ECJ’s ultimate jurisdiction, the UK will only be adhering to an international trade court and not an EU institution.
Stephen Hornsby, Goodman Derrick, London