CJEU Advocate General agrees with the Three Knights Opinion – UK can unilaterally revoke Art. 50

Last winter, following our successful challenge to the Government’s intention to use Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50, we commissioned an opinion on whether an Article 50 notification could be unilaterally revoked.

That opinion, now referred to as the Three Knights Opinion, said that an Article 50 notification could be unilaterally revoked, provided it was done in good faith and in accordance with the notifying country’s constitutional requirements.

Today an Attorney General to the Court of Justice of the EU said in his Opinion, which the CJEU is likely to follow:

When a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union allows the unilateral revocation of that notification, until such time as the withdrawal agreement is formally concluded, provided that the revocation has been decided upon in accordance with the Member State’s constitutional requirements, is formally notified to the European Council and does not involve an abusive practice.“

Not only does this follow the key elements of the Three Knights Opinion, the full Opinion refers to the Three Knights Opinion and its authors.

This will pave the way for Parliament to take back control from Theresa May and those who are trying to foist a Deal/No-Deal on Parliament and the electorate.

Note 1. Press Release of the Attorney General’s opinion

PressRelease No 187/18 – Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-621/18

Note 2. Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)has one judge from each Member State, assisted by eleven advocates generalwhose role is to consider the written and oral submissions to the court inevery case that raises a new point of law, and deliver an impartial opinion tothe court on the legal solution. Although Advocates General are full members ofthe court, they do not take part in the court‘sdeliberations, and the Advocate General’s opinion is not binding on the court.

Although the court reaches the same solution as the Advocate Generalmore often than not, it cannot usually be stated that the advocate general’sopinion has been ‘followed’ in any given case, because the court may havereached the same conclusion via different legal reasoning. The role of AdvocateGeneral is created by Article 19(2) of the Treaty on European Union andArticles 253 and 254 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Note 3. The Three Knights Opinion.

The Three Knights Opinion was commissioned by The Peoples Challenge after successfully resisting theGovernment’s attempt to use Royal Prerogative to trigger the Article 50notification.

The Opinion’s authors are Sir David Edward KCMG PC QC, Sir Francis Jacobs KCMG PC QC, Sir Jeremy Lever KCMG QC (retired) and the QCs that acted for the People’s Challenge Group in R (Miller) vs SSExEU, Helen Mountfield QC and Gerry Facenna QC.

Sir David Edward QC practised at the Bar in Scotland prior to his appointment as the United Kingdom’s Judge at the European Court of First Instance from 1989-1992 and subsequently Judge of the European Court of Justice from 1992 until 2004. In 2004 he returned to become a part-time judge of the Court of Session in Scotland. He is a Privy Councillor, Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Fellow of University College, Oxford.

Sir Francis Jacobs QC served as the United Kingdom’s Advocate General at the European Court of Justice from 1988 to 2006, having previously combined an academic career as Professor of European Law at the University of London with practice at the Bar. He is the President of the Centre of European Law at King’s College London and a visiting professor at the College of Europe. He was appointed a Privy Councillor in December 2005 and continues to practice at the Bar.

Sir Jeremy Lever QC is one of the most senior and respected figures in EU and competition law. During his more than fifty years at the Bar he acted in many of the leading cases in the fields of European law, competition law, and regulatory public law, including on behalf of the UK Government, the European Commission and the European Parliament. He is a Distinguished Fellow and Senior Dean of All Souls College, Oxford and in 2003 was knighted for services to European Law.

Note 4. Supreme Court decision in R (Miller) vs SSExEU

The People’s Challenge played a significant part in the arguments in the Divisional and Supreme Courts which resulted in the ruling that the Government was not allowed to trigger the Article 50 notification using Royal Prerogative and it required primary legislation by Parliament because of the implications for UK citizen’s fundamental rights.


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Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

This entry was posted in Article 50 negotiations, The Millions in the Margins, The People's Challenge, The Three Knights, What is Best for the UK? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to CJEU Advocate General agrees with the Three Knights Opinion – UK can unilaterally revoke Art. 50

  1. Pingback: Why the EU cannot eject the UK and strip away our EU rights in the event of a Halloween No-Deal. | The People's Challenge

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