The British Government has said that it intends to join an international agreement aimed at facilitating cross-border trade and investment.
This follows a consultation process carried out by the Ministry of Justice.
The Hague 2019 Convention sets out conditions for the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters – including consumer and employment contracts – and possible grounds for their refusal.
A statement said that the British Government had concluded that it was “the right time” to join the convention, adding that it would seek to do so “as soon as practicable”.
Britain said that the agreement offered “a strong multilateral framework of uniform rules for the recognition and enforcement of a wide range of judgments” between it and other signatories, which currently include the EU and Ukraine.
“This is particularly important in the present absence of a comprehensive private international framework between the UK and the EU covering civil and commercial matters,” it added.
The Ministry of Justice also stated that joining Hague 2019 would provide businesses and consumers with greater confidence when conducting cross-border transactions.
It noted that the move would not rule out Britain’s joining the Lugano Convention in future.
Britain’s membership of the wider Lugano agreement lapsed after Brexit, and the EU has so far rejected Britain’s efforts to rejoin.
The President of the Law Society of England and Wales Nick Emmerson said: 'We welcome the unanimous support from respondents to the consultation for the UK joining the Hague 2019 Convention.”
He urged the British Government to proceed with accession as soon as possible.
According to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales, however, Emmerson also warned that the move should not stop efforts to further facilitate cross-border enforcement of judgments – including continued discussions to accede to the Lugano Convention.