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Scotland's highest court refers anti-Brexit challenge to CJEU

SCOTLAND’S highest civil court today referred an anti-Brexit legal challenge to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The Court of Session in Edinburgh announced it would ask the CJEU if Britain can unilaterally revoke its Article 50 request to leave the EU.

Any court or tribunal of an EU member state can ask the CJEU for a preliminary ruling on a question of EU law, but the final decision in the case still remains with the referring court.

Scotland's most senior judge, Lord Carloway, said it was “clear” that MPs at Westminster would be required to vote on any Brexit deal agreed by the government and the EU, and that it seemed “neither academic nor premature to ask whether it is legally competent to revoke the notification and thus to remain in the EU.”

Lord Carloway said that the CJEU would not be advising Parliament on “what it must or ought to do,” but would be “merely declaring the law as part of its central function.”

He added that “how Parliament chooses to react to that declarator is entirely a matter for that institution.”

The case has been brought by a cross-party group of politicians, including Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Joanna Cherry MP and Alyn Smith MSP of the SNP and Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer.

A government spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the decision of the Court. We are giving it careful consideration.

“But, as the government has repeatedly said, we are committed to implementing the result of the referendum and will not be revoking Article 50.”

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