WORLD INFO: Britain can unilaterally stop Brexit process – EU lawyers
The British government has the power to unilaterally halt the Brexit process, the EU’s top legal advisers have said.
In a report prepared for the European Court in Strasbourg, the advocate general said the UK could stop the two-year legal countdown invoked under Article 50.
The UK had argued that Article 50 could only be ended with agreement of all 27 remaining EU member states.
Announcing the decision Tuesday, Advocate General Campos Sanchez-Bordona ruled that Article 50 “allows the unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU.”
Judges must now decide whether to accept the advocate general’s advice, as they do in most cases.
If they do, it gives the UK parliament another way in which to force the government’s hand. With only 16 weeks to go before the Article 50 deadline on March 29, options are running out if parliament rejects Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Jo Maugham, one of the petitioners in the case, welcomed the advocate general’s opinion, urging UK lawmakers to “search their consciences and act in the best interests of the country.”
“The decision is one that the UK can make unilaterally without needing the consent of the other Member States. That puts the decision about our future back into the hands of our own elected representatives where it belongs,” he added.