The U.K. can unilaterally withdraw from the article it invoked to leave the EU without the union’s approval, a senior adviser to the European Court of Justice said Tuesday, in news that could buoy Remainers’ hopes.
Campos Sanchez-Bordona, the court’s advocate general, said that under EU law a member can revoke Article 50 without needing approval from the European Commission or the other 27 member states.
“The Advocate General proposes that the Court of Justice should, in its future judgment, declare that Article 50 TEU [Treaty on European Union] allows the unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU,” Bordona said in a statement.
“Unilateral revocation would also be a manifestation of the sovereignty of the departing member state, which chooses to reverse its initial decision.”
The advice could boost the anti-Brexit campaign and MPs who have long argued that revoking Article 50 is simpler than what the government has claimed.
A cross-party group of Scottish parliamentarians launched a legal petition in December 2017, and last month the court of justice convened an emergency meeting in Luxembourg to consider it.
Speaking to the Guardian, Alyn Smith, the Scottish MEP involved in the legal action, said: “We now have a roadmap out of the Brexit shambles, a bright light has switched on above an ‘exit’ sign and the false choice being offered to MPs at Westminster that it is Mrs May’s disastrous deal or chaos is shown for what it is, an abuse of parliament.”
The government had tried to prevent the case from reaching the court.