Politicians win right for judicial review of Article 50 decision

Green MSP Andy Wightman
Green MSP Andy Wightman
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A cross party group of Scottish politicians have won the right to have their attempt to find out if Brexit can be cancelled heard in the courts.

The group of Green, SNP and Labour politicians are attempting to find out if the UK can go to the European Court of Justice for a judicial review on whether it can unilaterally withdraw its Article 50 notification.

Earlier this year a judge at the Court of Session refused to allow their action to proceed. Lord Doherty rejected their application on the grounds that “the prospect of success falls very far short”.

But Andy Wightman and Ross Greer of the Greens, the SNP MEP Alyn Smith and Labour MEP’s David Martin and Catherine Stihler have successfully appealed Lord Docherty’s decision.

In upholding the politicians’ appeal in the Court of Session the Lord President Lord Carloway said a “case of substance albeit not necessarily one which is likely to succeed, can be discovered”. 

Lord Carloway said: “The issue of whether it is legally possible to revoke the notice of withdrawal is, as already stated, one of great importance.  On one view, authoritative guidance on whether it is legally possible to do so may have the capacity to influence Members of Parliament in deciding what steps to take in advance of, and at the time of, a debate and vote on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.  After all, if Parliament is to be regarded as sovereign, the Government’s position on the legality of revoking the notice may not be decisive.“