Supporters of the European Union in Britain have won an ironic victory at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which has ruled that the United Kingdom has the sovereign right to act with total independence to decide to continue to subject itself to European Union control by cancelling the Brexit process.
Although petitioners, including a group of politicians and lawyer Jolyon Maugham QC, want the United Kingdom to remain subject to European Union control, they appealed for absolute freedom from the bloc for the UK to make one key decision alone — to stay in the European Union.
Until now, it was broadly understood that the UK could ask to cancel the Article 50 process that governs the withdrawal of a member state from the EU, but it would need the consent of every other member state to do so.
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 UK under the continuing control of the exact same European Union that could not be counted upon to serve their interests in the first place.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 16, 2018
The UK voted by a margin of over one million votes in 2016 to leave the European Union in what is the largest exercise in democracy in British history. Despite the result, pro-European Union activists have long argued it should be ignored, or the vote re-run until the British people change their minds.
The ECJ has not yet made its ruling on the matter, but the breakthrough for pro-European Union activists in the UK came after the European advocate general gave his legal opinion on the matter. While the published document of his remarks is not legally binding, they are likely to be approved by the court in a hearing expected this month.
Noting the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the legal opinion states “notifications of withdrawal from an international treaty may be revoked at any time before they take effect.”
Top Remainer lawyer Maugham — who wrote in triumph Tuesday morning that “Remaining in the EU just got a whole lot easier” — moved to mobilise support against Brexit Tuesday morning, taking to Twitter to urge his 92,000 followers to “Please email your MP to let them know that the Advocate General has said we can cancel Brexit without cost.”
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Celebrating the fact the United Kingdom had its sovereign right to surrender its sovereignty to the European Union by cancelling the Brexit process recognised by the European court, the lawyer noted if the ECJ follows the Advocate General “we are much more likely to stay in the EU.”
Writing in The Guardian, Maugham suggested Parliament — which in the matter of opinion on the European Union does not represent the British people and is predominantly pro-Remain — could ignore the referendum and vote to cancel Brexit, writing: “One option is for MPs to just cancel the article 50 notice without a further referendum. That is a course the advocate general has recognised is open to parliament. And the 2016 referendum parliament enacted was only advisory, after all… there is no denying the path to remain just got easier.”
Scottish MEP Alyn Smith, another of the petitioners who brought the case to the court, said the legal opinion was a “huge win”.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 3, 2018
In comments reported by the Daily Telegraph, he said: “We now have a roadmap out 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. There are other options, and we can stop the clock.”
The legal opinion will be an important tool for Remainers within the government including British Prime Minister Theresa May, UKIP leader Gerard Batten said Tuesday.
Noting Theresa May’s Brexit deal as agreed is so bad no rational person could accept it, the government could cancel Brexit altogether, he said. Batten remarked: “The political establishment intends to reverse the decision of the Referendum and betray Brexit at any cost. Mrs May’s surrender document will not pass a House of Commons vote, and the obvious result of that would be for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 20, 2018
“In order to avoid that they now wish to cancel Article 50 and remain in the EU. The entire strategy of Mrs May and the political class over the last two years has been to arrive at a ‘deal’ that was so bad neither Leavers or Remainers would accept it. The narrative they are pushing is that leaving the EU is impossible and therefore Britain has no option but to stay.
“I have said all along that Article 50 was a trap designed to delay, impede and overturn our attempt to leave the EU. I have also said that Article 50 could indeed be discarded, not to stay in the EU, but to unilaterally leave.”