In Brief

Is Britain losing its prestige as well as its ICJ seat?

FIrst time UK has not had representative on the International Court of Justice since 1946

The UK has lost its seat on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the first time in more than 70 years, leading some critics to wonder whether Britain is also losing its power in the world order.

Incumbent Sir Christopher Greenwood withdrew his candidacy for the ICJ seat yesterday, accepting defeat to Indian candidate Dalveer Bhandari. This is the first time that the UK has not had a a judge on the bench since the court began operating in 1946.

“The decision to bow to mounting opposition within the UN General Assembly is a humiliating blow to British international prestige and an acceptance of a diminished status in international affairs,” says The Guardian.

Separately this week, Paris won a battle against London to host the European Banking Authority (EBA) after the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019, while Amsterdam secured the London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EMA and the EBA currently employ a total of about 1,000 people in the UK, the BBC says.

“Winning the EMA and EBA are the first spoils of Brexit as both agencies, based at Canary Wharf, are legally required to leave Britain after the referendum to withdraw from the EU,” The Times says.

Former Labour cabinet minister Lord Andrew Adonis tweeted that the UK is committing “self-mutilation”.

Adding ignominy to insult, Britain will be asked to pay for the removals. The bill for relocating the EMA stands at €582.5m (£515.4m), with the bulk of costs arising from a botched rental contract for its Canary Wharf offices, according to The Times. 

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