Can Brexit be stopped under EU Law?

Ominous clouds are gathering and the terrain underfoot increasingly resembles a quagmire on the Brexiteers ‘sunlit uplands’. It is therefore unsurprising that the chatter about revoking the Art. 50 notification to withdraw from the EU – itself waxing and waning since the referendum vote – has become louder in recent days; spurred on by a freedom of information request seeking the government’s legal advice on the question.

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Is Article 50 Reversible? On Politics Beyond Legal Doctrine

Can the United Kingdom, once it has declared its withdrawal from the EU, revoke this decision later on? This question is at the core of the ongoing case before the UK Supreme Court on Art. 50 TEU. I argue that revocability fits neatly in the letter and spirit of article 50 because of formal and substantive reasons. I further content that the Supreme Court decision may create a bifurcation in which interpretation of a key TEU provision may become purely an issue of domestic law. However, I further content that actors’ political decisions have progressively framed a situation in which revocability does not seem politically possible.

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Brexit and the Single Market: You say Article 50, we say Article 127?

Hard on the heels of the Article 50 case heard last week by the UK Supreme Court, comes the announcement of another challenge to the UK Government’s Brexit plans, this time based on Article 127 of the EEA agreement. Much like Article 50 TEU, that provision allows contracting parties to the EEA agreement to withdraw from it. The claimants in the Article 127 challenge contend that withdrawal from the EU under Article 50 will not lead to withdrawal from the EEA, given that with Article 127 the EEA agreement contains its own termination clause. Hence their argument goes that unless the Government also triggers Article 127, the UK will stay in the EEA even after Brexit; and that would mean that the UK would remain in the single market. Much like the Article 50 case, the impending court case therefore seeks a declaration by the High Court that the Government cannot trigger Article 127 without prior approval of Parliament. The claimants’ hope is that while Parliament may feel politically bound by the EU referendum result to allow the Government to leave the EU, it may not vote in favour of leaving the EEA, viz. the single market, as this was not a question on the ballot paper. It is the aim of this blogpost to identify the three main hurdles the claimants are likely to be facing and discuss whether these can be overcome.

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Miller, Brexit and the (maybe not to so evil) Court of Justice

As strange as this might sound, hardcore Brexiteers have now their closest and most reliable ally not at home. But in what they have considered to be, all these years, the evil, monstrous, devilish, undemocratic, unelected, corrupt and dictatorial Court of Justice of the European Union.

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The Article 50 Litigation and the Court of Justice: Why the Supreme Court must NOT refer

Is the UK Supreme Court in the current Brexit case obliged to refer to the Luxembourg Court? If that were the case, the conformity of any Member State’s EU exit with its own constitutional requirements would be open to review by the CJEU – and hence could no longer be qualified as an act of self-determination since a EU institution would have the final say on it.

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The Article 50 Litigation and the Court of Justice: Why the Supreme Court must refer

Article 50 TEU says that member states decide to withdraw from the Union “according to their own constitutional requirements”. It is for the Luxembourg Court to clarify what this means. Thus, in the current case on Brexit the UK Supreme Court is obliged to refer to the European Court of Justice. One could argue that this should never have been made a Union problem. But it was, and, like it or not, that makes it the Court of Justice’s problem too.

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The High Court’s Judgment in Miller and Others – four brief remarks

Today’s decision by the High Court of England and Wales that the UK Government did not have the power under the Royal Prerogative to initiate the process of withdrawing from the EU laid down in Article 50 TEU came as a surprise to many. Four brief remarks on what the decision might entail politically.

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Sovereignty means Sovereignty: Über den Verlust von Rechten entscheidet das Parlament

Großbritannien darf erst nach einem Parlamentsbeschluss aus der EU austreten. Das hat der englische High Court auf eine Klage von Bürgern hin entschieden. Bleibt die Entscheidung bestehen, könnte sie den Zeitplan für den EU-Austritt durcheinander bringen, noch bevor dieser eigentlich begonnen hat. Verhindert wird der Brexit aber höchstwahrscheinlich nicht mehr.

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The High Court’s Brexit Decision: A Lesson in Constitutional Law for the UK Government

In today’s Brexit decision, the High Court has delivered a tutorial on the UK constitution, exemplary in its clarity and reasoning. Its key finding: the government cannot take away rights that citizens enjoy in the EU and would be lost on withdrawal without involving Parliament. In failing to understand the constitution of its own country, the government was taught an embarrassing lesson today.

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Why all Member States should clarify their Constitutional Requirements for Withdrawing from the EU

The UK’s ‘chaotic Brexit’ may perhaps be the inevitable result of being the first state to even contemplate withdrawal from the European Union. Regardless, the other Member States can now look to this uncertainty as something to avoid. By contrast to the United Kingdom’s current situation, they should look to the clarity of procedure for legitimate secession in Canada and seek to provide a similarly exhaustive statement of how the ‘constitutional requirements’ of Article 50 would be fulfilled in their own constitutional orders.

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