EU lawyer gives UK green light to call the whole thing off

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By REX ROWLANDS [email protected]­

THE Euro­pean Union’s top lawyer says that Bri­tain can with­draw from Brexit at any time, giv­ing Theresa May a fresh headache.

The Prime Min­is­ter is des­per­ately fight­ing against the odds to push through the deal she agreed with EU lead­ers for Bri­tain to leave in March.

She has claimed there is no stop­ping the process and if her deal fails then the UK will leave with no deal in place – some­thing she claims will be “a dis­as­ter”.

But a gang of re­main­ers took a chal­lenge to the Court of Jus­tice to give Bri­tain the power to with­draw from Ar­ti­cle 50 – the act that legally started the Brexit process – with­out the say so of the other EU mem­bers.

And the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice’s Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral said yes­ter­day that Bri­tain has the right to with­draw its Brexit no­tice from the Euro­pean Union uni­lat­er­ally.

“Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral Cam­pos Sanchez-Bor­dona pro­poses that the Court of Jus­tice should de­clare Ar­ti­cle 50 al­lows the uni­lat­eral re­vo­ca­tion of the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the in­ten­tion to with­draw from the EU,” the bloc’s top court said in a state­ment.

While the Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral’s opin­ions are not bind­ing, the court tends to fol­low them in its fi­nal rul­ings.

The case was brought by a cross-party group of Scot­tish politi­cians and was heard by judges at the Lux­em­bourg court last week.

Alyn Smith, one of those who brought the case, said: “This is a huge win for us, and a huge step for­ward from the high­est court in the busi­ness, and con­firms what we have been hop­ing for – that the UK can in­deed change its mind on Brexit and re­voke Ar­ti­cle 50, uni­lat­er­ally.


“We now have a road map 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 rul­ing means that if MPs vote down May’s deal they could force through a vote to stop the Brexit process com­pletely, even with­out a new ref­er­en­dum.

Best for Bri­tain mem­ber Tulip Sid­diq MP said: “This judg­ment makes it un­think­able that the Gov­ern­ment will pur­sue a path of con­sti­tu­tional and eco­nomic chaos, or to sug­gest their deal is the only game in town.”

May’s plan to keep close ties with the EU af­ter leav­ing has been crit­i­cised by Brexit sup­port­ers and op­po­nents alike.

She now has the fight of her po­lit­i­cal life to se­cure par­lia­ment’s ap­proval in a vote that will fol­low the de­bate on De­cem­ber 11.

Last night the BBC said it was scrap­ping plans to host a Brexit de­bate be­tween Theresa May and Jeremy Cor­byn.


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