The UK can reverse Brexit, unilaterally revoking its withdrawal from the EU, says a European Court of Justice advocate general.
Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona said that the ECJ “should, in its future judgement, declare that Article 50 TEU [Treaty of the European Union] allows the unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, until such time as the withdrawal agreement is formally concluded”.
The statement is important because, although it is not binding in court, it means that hypothetically Britain would have the power to stop a no-deal Brexit from happening – even if prime minister Theresa May’s deal is voted down next week.
This contradicts the point that Government has made. They have been trying to convince MPs to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal by warning that voting it down could trigger a no-deal. This does not seem to be the case.
A cross-party group of Scottish politicians brought the case forward, asking whether an EU member state (such as the UK) can decide on its own to revoke the Article 50 withdrawal process, or whether the agreement of the 27 other member states would be required.
EU lawyers have previously argued that if the UK wanted to back out, then it would need a vote of other member states.
A statement from the ECJ said: “In answer to the question from the Scottish court, the Advocate General proposes that the Court of Justice should, in its future judgment, declare that Article 50 TEU allows the unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, until such time as the Withdrawal Agreement is formally concluded, provided that the revocation has been decided upon in accordance with the member state’s constitutional requirements, is formally notified to the European Council and does not involve an abusive practice.”
#Brexit – Case C-621/18 Wightman – AG Campos Sánchez-Bordona: Article 50 TFEU notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU can be revoked unilaterally under certain conditions https://t.co/BXuldkaxWx
— EU Court of Justice (@EUCourtPress) 4 December 2018