Westminster are set to challenge a judgment made by Scotland’s highest court that could, in theory, prevent Brexit.
The Advocate General for Scotland’s office will seek to appeal a decision by Scotland’s most senior judge after Scottish politicians were given permission for an authoritative ruling from Europe’s highest court on whether MPs can halt Brexit by revoking the Article 50 withdrawal process.
The Lord President, Lord Carloway, said the idea, dismissed by UK government lawyers as “hypothetical and academic”, should be referred as a matter of urgency to the European Court of Justice prior to the final Brexit vote in Westminster.
If the European Court of Justice finds that Parliament can revoke Article 50 without needing approval from other states in the EU, it could in theory, prevent Brexit.
However, the UK government are today to seek an appeal in a bid to remove a one-day hearing at the ECJ scheduled for November 27.
A number of Scottish politicians have led the charge to seek a decision from the ECJ, including Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, SNP MEP Alyn Smith, SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC and Scottish Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine.
Mr Wightman told the Herald: “The reference [to the ECJ] has already been made. I don’t know why the UK government is wasting more time and money opposing a fairly resounding decision of the Inner House.”
Jolyon Maugham QC, deemed the UK Government’s arguments “hopeless” saying: “The Government is scared witless at the thought of MPs and the public learning we was still Remain.
“If Theresa May can’t get her Brexit through Parliament we need a People’s Vote because she doesn’t have a mandate for driving the country off a cliff.”
A UK Government spokesperson said: “We were disappointed by the decision of the Court of Session and are seeking to appeal it in the Supreme Court.
“But it remains a matter of firm policy that we will not be revoking the Article 50 notice, and we will not comment further on ongoing litigation.