SCOTLAND’s HIGHER CIVIL COURT SEEKS PRELIMINARY RULING FROM THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE ON WHETHER THE UK CAN WITHDRAW ITS NOTIFICATION TO LEAVE THE EU 2018/09/25
On 21st September 2018, the Inner House of the Scottish Court of Session (Scotland’s higher Civil court) decided to seek a preliminary ruling before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding the question of whether the United Kingdom (UK) can withdraw its notification of its intention to leave the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union (TFEU). This action was filed following the UK withdrawal notification by the UK prime Minister on 29 March 2017. The claimants considered that the CJEU should answer whether the notification can be revoked in advance of the expiry of the two-year period, with the effect that the UK would remain in the EU. This action was rejected by the Outer House of the Court of Session. However, the Scotland’s higher Civil court overturned the decision and decided to seek the following preliminary ruling to the CJEU:““Where, in accordance with Article 50 of the TEU, a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, does EU law permit that notice to be revoked unilaterally by the notifying Member State; and, if so, subject to what conditions and with what effect relative to the Member State remaining within the EU”.”The CJEU will be expected to answer the question on the basis of an urgent procedure and in any case before 29 March 2019 when the Brexit is supposed to take effect.