Article 50 Revocation?

A few days ago I spotted this article that had been tweeted and the day after read this article on the website: The Participator. Both articles relate to the fact that legal action has been taken with a view to clarifying whether it would be legal for the United Kingdom to revoke its notification to leave the European Union given under Article 50 of the TEU.

The first link, which appeared in The Guardian was followed by another in the Scottish Legal News on the same day. The second link in the preceding paragraph contains a most intriguing scenario as to what will happen when the European Court of Justice delivers its opinion, one which is due in December this year.

Researching this ‘item of news’ – one which I had missed due to my being in Switzerland – a number of interesting links was produced.

Five days before the story broke in The Guardian and the Scottish Legal News an article appeared on the website of EU Law Analysis, one featuring opposing views of whether it was, indeed, possible for the act of revocation to take place. The protagonists of this article were Professor Stephen Weatherill and Professor Steve Peers. I refrain from passing comment on either of these two gentlemen or their ability to state that which they do.

The article on EU Law Analysis contains a link to a report by the Directorate General  for Internal Policies, Policy Department for Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs, a study entitled: The (ir-)revocability of the withdrawal notification under Article 50 TEU.

The initial court case was lost but on appeal was overturned by Lord Carloway, sitting with Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young. By clicking on ‘Judgement’ on the Scottish Legal News website you can read their findings in which their decision was to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

Whether or not revocation of Article 50 is possible appears to be a fraught question and in this regard pages 27/28 of the link to The (ir-) Revocability of the Withdrawal Notification under Article 50 TEU – 5.2. The role of the CJEU in a possible revocation – are interesting.

Another reference point about revocation of Article 50 can be found here. This is a ‘Fact Sheet’ issued by the European Commission as a Q and A document. In this is included:

Once triggered, can Article 50 be revoked?
It is up to the United Kingdom to trigger Article 50.
But once triggered, it cannot be unilaterally reversed. Notification is a point of no return. Article 50 does not provide for the unilateral withdrawal of notification (My emphasis).

I have refrained from any personal comment in this article for fear of appearing to influence the opinion of any reader.  It is my hope readers will devote some time to reading each linked document and come to a  reasoned opinion before commenting.


One thought on “Article 50 Revocation?

  1. Several of of us, including someone with an LL.M, have had a look at this and we see huge problems going back on the invocation of Article 50. The UK legally invoked it, there are calls, and only that as nothing has been through parliament, for another referendum to take back the invoking of the Article 50. So what does this amount to, taking back control from those who have taken back control? Its a referendum after referendum after referendum! No matter which side of the Brexit debate you are it’s not hard to spot it would create a massive constitutional crisis. The ECJ cannot revoke it for us either. Political history shows that sometimes, and only sometimes, creating chaos then offering to solve the crisis wins power. So it’s hard to see even Remainers taking the gamble of a constitutional crisis to get what they want. The ‘Scottish Case’, will have a limited impact as it’s Scottish, Courts and government here are not bound by it. Charles Dickens had Mr Bumble say that, ‘the law is an ass’ but in reality, and this may be hard to credit sometimes, the law does aim to be rational. So although to some invoking Art 50 may be undesirable it was legal. So perhaps this is why the PM is going for a BRINO?

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