United Kingdom told Brexit could be cancelled without approval of other members

United Kingdom told Brexit could be cancelled without approval of other members

Scottish MPs and MEPs had brought the case on Article 50 - a 250-word clause inserted into the EU charter eight years ago, which had never been used until the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union in the summer of 2016.

The Court of Justice (ECJ) will deliver its final ruling at a later date.

The opinion came out the same day British prime minister Theresa May was to open a five-day long Brexit debate in Westminster.

Jo Maugham, a British lawyer who helped bring the case, said it "puts the decision about our future back into the hands of our own elected representatives - where it belongs".

May is trying to sell an agreement on a "smooth and orderly" Brexit to a hostile House of Commons, arguing that their choice is to back a deal or face the economic calamity of crashing out of Europe without a plan.

The advice of the advocate general is often, but not always, followed by the full court.

Britain can unilaterally cancel Brexit, without getting the EU's permission, a senior legal advisor has told the European Court of Justice (ECJ), if the Article 50 process is revoked before the 29 March 2019 deadline for leaving the bloc.

In a boost for those campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU or hold a second referendum, a top EU legal adviser has confirmed that Britain could withdraw its notice to leave the EU unilaterally, without getting the support of other member nations.

"On this critical issue I'm sure MP's will now search their consciences and act in the best interests of the country", he added.

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After the opinion, a United Kingdom spokesperson reiterated that "it remains a matter of firm Government policy that Article 50 will not be revoked".

Leaving the European Union without a deal would end more than 40 years of free trade and disrupt the flow of goods and services between Britain and the EU.

Noting the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the legal opinion states "notifications of withdrawal from an global treaty may be revoked at any time before they take effect".

But it was attacked by pro-Brexit hardliners, such as British eurosceptic MEP Nigel Farage, who said: "Every effort is being made on both sides of the [English] Channel to stop Brexit".

Politicians on both sides of Britain's European Union membership debate oppose the agreement - pro-Brexit legislators because it keeps Britain bound closely to the European Union, and pro-EU politicians because it erects barriers between the United Kingdom and its biggest trading partner.

Clearly not trusting the rest of the European Union to agree with Britain if Parliament voted to reverse Brexit, the group petitioned the ECJ for the unilateral right to declare the United Kingdom under the continuing control of the exact same European Union that could not be counted upon to serve their interests in the first place.

"I have said all along that Article 50 was a trap created to delay, impede and overturn our attempt to leave the EU".

Two attempts by the UK Government, which is contesting the case, to appeal against the referral to the European court were rejected. The AG said on the contrary the issue had "obvious practical importance".

The EU's governing European Commission and European Council oppose unilateral revocation, arguing it requires unanimous agreement of the 27 remaining members of the bloc.

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