Britain can stop Brexit unilaterally, says EU court advice

The EU's top court should rule that the UK can scrap Brexit unilaterally, a senior adviser has recommended. The advice comes a week before British parliament is scheduled to vote on Theresa May's divisive Brexit plan.

A European Court of Justice (ECJ) official on Tuesday advised the court to rule that the United Kingdom can unilaterally revoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Advocate General Manuel Campos said the decision to revoke Article 50 would be "incompatible" with EU rules if it required consensus from the bloc's 27 other member states. The ECJ tends to rule in line with such expert opinion.

"That possibility continues to exist until such time as the withdrawal agreement is formally concluded," according to Campos' recommendations.

Read more: British government forecasts doomsday no-deal Brexit scenario

Paving way for 'people's vote'

The case was initially brought on by Scottish politicians opposed to the formal divorce from the EU. Their hope is that, if the ECJ does rule in favor of unilateral revocation, it could pave the way for a "people's vote" on May's Brexit deal with an option to remain.

"This is a key development and further paves way for people's vote to stop Brexit," said Andrew Adonis, a Labour Party politician and prominent Remain campaigner, in a tweet.

Read more: Germany's 'Little Britain' forced to close down — for now

Brexit on the horizon

But not everyone was happy about the advice to the EU's top court. Nigel Farage, a Member of European Parliament who rigorously campaigned for Brexit, said it shows "every effort is being made on both sides of the (English) Channel to stop Brexit."

Article 50 allows any EU member state to leave the bloc. It was invoked by the British government following the Brexit referendum on leaving the EU, which saw the "Leave" camp win with 52 percent of the vote.

The UK triggered the article on March 29, 2017, starting a two-year countdown to secure a divorce deal before leaving the EU.

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ls/rc (Reuters, AP)