The highest court in the European Union has ruled that the United Kingdom remains sovereign in one key aspect — in its ability to unilaterally choose to remain in the European Union.
The ruling came after a group of concerned pro-Brussels UK politicians petitioned the European Court of Justice to discover whether the United Kingdom could cancel the Brexit process, or whether it would have to ask other European nations for permission to do so.
In a boost for those wishing to hold the UK inside the EU, the ruling stated: “The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU.”
The irony of asking an EU institution for permission to keep Britain in the EU without having to get the permission of other EU nations, where it would be subject to the ongoing control of those same EU nations, was apparently lost on the petitioners who won their case Monday. The ruling opens the door for politicians to ignore the Brexit referendum and return the UK to the pre-2016 status quo.
Wire service the Associated Press reported the decision had the effect of “boosting the hopes of people who want to stay in the EU”, and the remarkably well-timed ruling was made just one day before UK lawmakers were due to vote on whether to adopt Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit agreement with the European Union. May has portrayed her deal as the only one available to Members of Parliament and the public.