CJEU: Wightman and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

4 Dec 2018 10:51 AM

That possibility continues to exist until such time as the withdrawal agreement is formally concluded.

At the request of various MSPs, MPs and MEPs, a Scottish court, the Court of Session, Inner House, First Division (UK), asks the Court of Justice whether a Member State which has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU in accordance with Article 50 TEU may unilaterally revoke that notification and, if so, subject to what conditions.

As the UK Parliament has to give its final approval, both if a withdrawal agreement is reached and in the absence of that agreement, various members of that parliament consider that if the notice of the intention to withdraw were revocable, this would open the possibility for the UK to remain in the EU in the face of an unsatisfactory Brexit. The Scottish court appears to adopt that position, reasoning that the Court of Justice’s answer will have the effect of clarifying the precise options open to MPs when casting their votes.

The UK Government contends that the question referred for a preliminary ruling is inadmissible, given that it is hypothetical and merely theoretical, since there is no indication that the UK Government or Parliament are going to revoke the notification of the intention to withdraw.

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