Politicians’ legal case against Brexit to go to European Courts

The European Court of Justice, the Palais in Luxembourg, which houses 15 judges and 9 advocates-general
The European Court of Justice, the Palais in Luxembourg, which houses 15 judges and 9 advocates-general
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Scottish politicians behind a legal bid to cancel Brexit last night welcomed a victory in their battle to get their case heard by the European Court of Justice.

The group yesterday successfully appeal against a decision which saw their case rejected at the Court of Session.

As a result of their appeal the case will now be referred to the European Court of Justice which will determine whether the UK can legally revoke its Article 50 notification.

The group, which includes, Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler and SNP MEP Alyn Smith – want the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to rule on the matter.

In order to do so, the politicians instructed lawyers to go to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to seek permission from that court to go to the ECJ. 

Lawyers acting for the UK government argued that the arguments made by the politicians were “hypothetical” and “academic”. 

They said the politicians arguments didn’t reflect the actual political situation and that European judges shouldn’t rule on the matter.

However, in a written judgement issued yesterday, Scotland’s most senior judge, the Lord President, Lord Carloway, and his colleagues Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young ruled in favour of the politicians. 

After the judgment, Green MEP Ross Greer said: “This sound judgement from the Court of Session paves the way for at least one bit of clarity amid the Tories’ Brexit chaos.

“It is entirely reasonable for us to ask whether the UK Parliament can revoke the triggering of Article 50 and end the Brexit process.

“We know that the UK Tory government, in the grip of Brexit extremists, has no intention of revoking Article 50 but that’s not the point.

“This is about ensuring MPs are fully informed of their options at this time of national crisis. If negotiations collapse, as appears to be happening, we have to know that a No-Deal disaster is not the only option on the table.”

The case was brought to the Court of Session earlier this year.

Judge Lord Boyd of Duncansby initially rejected the bid to take the case to the Court of Justice.

In his judgment, Lord Boyd wrote that the case made by the politicians was hypothetical.

But in yesterday’s judgement, Lord Carloway wrote: “It seems neither academic nor premature to ask whether it is legally competent to revoke the notification and thus to remain in the EU...

“In these circumstances reference to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling is ­necessary.”