Britain has the right to withdraw its Brexit notice from the European Union unilaterally, according to the European Court of Justice’s advocate general. The advice from the EU’s top court comes as British lawmakers begin five days of debates on Prime Minister Theresa May‘s proposed Brexit deal before voting on it.
“Advocate General (Manuel) Campos Sanchez-Bordona proposes that the Court of Justice should declare that Article 50… allows the unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU,” the ECJ, the bloc’s highest court, said.
“That possibility continues to exist until such time as the withdrawal agreement is formally concluded,” it said in a statement.
As reported by Euronews online, while the advocate general’s opinions are not binding, the court tends to follow them in its final rulings. It was not known when it would announce its decision, but there are indications it will be fast-tracked before the end of the year.
In a separate report, CNBC noted that full ruling will follow within days. The case, brought by a cross-party group of Scottish politicians and lawmakers, has met resistance from the UK government.
The EU has also expressed concerns that such a unilateral power could destabilise Europe.
But writing in The National newspaper on December 3, one of the case’s backers, Scottish politician Alyn Smith, argued that UK lawmakers were now “vulnerable to the government claims that there is no alternative to Brexit”.