The return of children who have been abducted into other European countries by alienated parents could become significantly more difficult following Britain’s exit from the European Union, peers have warned.
Currently the return of children in such circumstances is facilitated by reciprocal recognition of legal orders under EU law,with the child’s country of habitual residence the principal factor.
But post-Brexit, families face “real hardship” and a “loss of certainty ” according to the EU Justice Sub-Committee in the House of Lords. They may be faced with the prospect of attempting to secure the return of children across 27 different jurisdictions (i.e all the remaining member states) the Committee claims.
Their report states:
“It is clear that significant problems will arise for UK citizens …To walk away from these regulations without putting alternatives in place would seriously undermine the family law rights of UK citizens and would, ultimately, be an act of self-harm.”
The committee’s report is entitled Brexit: justice for families, individuals and businesses? Read it here.
Photo of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France by jeffowenphotos via Flickr