The ruling is in and the EU’s top court has declared the UK can unilaterally end its intention to exit the bloc without consulting the other member states.
The case was brought by a cross-party group of Scottish Politicians who are still playing with the possibility that a people’s vote can be instigated to remain in the EU.
The MP’s include British 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.
The ruling comes just a week after another ruling asserted that Article 50 only allows the possibility of revocation following a unanimous decision of the European Council
A spokeswoman for the court said: ‘In today’s judgment, the Full Court has ruled that, when a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification. ‘That possibility exists for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, and any possible extension, has not expired.’
The court ruling came ahead of Tuesday’s crunch vote on the British prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
The MP’s argued unilateral revocation is possible and believes it could pave the way for an alternative option to Brexit, such as a People’s Vote to enable remaining in the EU.
However, legal representatives for the UK government believed the case was 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 meanwhile argued that revocation was possible but would require unanimous agreement from all member states.
The case was originally heard by the Court of Session in Edinburgh and two attempts by the UK government to appeal against the referral to the European court were rejected.
Now that the court has made its ruling, the ruling will be referred back to the Court of Session, judges are expected to “frank” the decision and declare the European court’s answer to be the law on the matter