Published: Sunday 31 December 1995

Britain might become the first victim of a European Union (EU) ruling delivered last month, which makes the EU governments liable to legal prosecution for non-implementation of EU laws. If the ruling is confirmed by the full court next year, then Britain could be forced to pay more than US $46 million in compensation to Spanish fishers who were banned from UK waters in 1989. In keeping with the EU ethos, the law was declared discriminatory on the basis of nationality, in 1991. However, govern- ments would be asked to pay damages only if they commit "manifest and serious" breaches of EU law.

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