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UK can reverse Brexit, rules European Court of Justice

The court has ruled that the UK can cancel Brexit.
The court has ruled that the UK can cancel Brexit.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) had ruled that the UK can decide to cancel Brexit and remain members of the European Union (EU).

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The court ruled that the UK would not need the permission of other EU members to remain.

Monday’s ruling comes less than a week after an ECJ advocate general rejected the contention that Article 50 only allows the possibility of revocation following a unanimous decision of the European Council.

Last week ECJ advocate general Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona said Article 50 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 ECJ ruling comes ahead of Tuesday’s crunch vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

The case was brought by a cross-party group of Scottish politicians.

They are Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Joanna Cherry MP and Alyn Smith MEP of the SNP, and Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, together with lawyer Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project.

They argued unilateral revocation is possible and believe it could pave the way for an alternative option to Brexit, such as a People’s Vote to enable remaining in the EU.

Legal representatives for the UK Government felt the case would be inadmissible as it deals with a hypothetical situation, since the Government’s policy is not to revoke Article 50.

Lawyers representing the Council of the European Union and from the European Commission argued that revocation is possible but would require unanimous agreement from all member states.

The case will now be referred back to the Court of Session, where judges are expected to “frank” the decision and declare the European Court’s answer to be the law on the matter.

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