The UK is free to unilaterally revoke the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU the European Court of Justice has ruled today.
An emergency judgment given a day before a critical vote in parliament on prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal says the UK can stop Brexit without consulting any other member state.
It adds this possibility exists for as long as the withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that member state has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded.
The judgment goes onto say the revocation must be decided in accordance with national constitutional requirements.
Furthermore this unequivocal and unconditional decision must be communicated in writing to the European Council.
This ruling potentially gives a boost to opponents of Britain’s decision to leave the EU who have campaigned for there to be a second referendum.
There has been speculation about whether May’s Brexit plan will be endorsed by parliament and the consequences of its failure for the government.
Over the weekend Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay said the vote will not be delayed and the government is set on winning it.