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C-621/18 Wightman and others: comment on ECJ Brexit withdrawal decision

Posted on 11 December 2018

C-621/18 Wightman and others: comment on ECJ Brexit withdrawal decision

Commenting on the ECJ decision in C-621/18 Wightman and others, Mishcon de Reya Partner Rob Murray said:

"In C-621/18 Wightman and others, the Full Court of the European Court of Justice has confirmed that the UK is able to withdraw from the Brexit process unilaterally and without consent from the EU. From a political perspective, this means that "no Brexit" is a legal option for Parliament to consider alongside "deal" or "no deal". Critically, as clarified by the Miller decision, an Act of Parliament would be necessary to reverse the notification of intention to withdraw.

"The Court held that (1) provided a concluded withdrawal agreement is not in force, or the two year withdrawal period has not expired, a Member State retains the ability to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, in accordance with its constitutional requirements (for the UK, an Act of Parliament); and (2) the revocation must be in writing, unequivocal and unconditional and brings the withdrawal procedure to an end." 

Rob's comment featured in The Guardian and The Times (subscription only).

Mishcon de Reya led the Article 50 Legal Challenge for Gina Miller in 2016, in which the Supreme Court decided that the Government could only trigger Article 50 after an Act of Parliament had been passed.

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