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Scots politicians seek ruling on MPs' power to reverse Brexit

The Court of Session heard the group believe MPs are able to stop the UK from leaving the EU.

Brexit: The Scottish politicians believe elected representatives have the legal power to stop the country from leaving the EU.
Brexit: The Scottish politicians believe elected representatives have the legal power to stop the country from leaving the EU. Reuters

A group of politicians are seeking permission to ask European judges to rule on whether MPs have the power to revoke Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

Green Party MSP Andy Wightman and SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC are just some of the elected representatives who want a judicial review into the matter held at Edinburgh's Court of Session.

They are joined by the likes of Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine, Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler, SNP MEP Alyn Smith and Green MSP Ross Greer.

The Scottish politicians believe that elected representatives in the UK have the legal power to stop the country from leaving the EU.

They claim current British government policy is wrong and contravenes established constitutional law.

The politicians object to the government's position that Parliament will only be allowed to vote on whether to accept any proposed EU deal or to proceed with a so-called 'hard' Brexit.

They want judge Lord Doherty to order a judicial review on the matter at Scotland's highest civil court.

They then hope that the judge who hears the judicial review will grant them permission to go to the European Court of Justice.

And their ultimate aim is for European judges to rule that British parliamentarians do have the legal power to order the British government to stop the Brexit process, should that be Parliament's wish.

'The petitioners submit that the current Article 50 notice can as a matter of European law, be revoked unilaterally by the UK acting in good faith.'
Aidan O'Neill QC

At a procedural hearing at the Court of Session on Friday, advocate Aidan O'Neill QC, the lawyer acting for the politicians, urged Lord Doherty to give permission for the judicial review to go ahead.

He said: "The petitioners submit that the current Article 50 notice can as a matter of European law, be revoked unilaterally by the UK acting in good faith.

"The petitioners acknowledge that, being an unresolved point of EU Law, this issue can only be authoritatively be determined by the Court of Justice of the European Union."

Mr O'Neill was speaking after the politicians raised the costs of funding the action through crowdfunding.

The UK government has said it would not cancel the Article 50 process and has stated that to do so would be unlawful.

Lord Doherty said he would issue his decision soon.

He added: "I'm going to take a little time to consider this and I will issue my decision early next week."

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