EU court ruling will allow Britain to cancel Brexit
The European Union's top court ruled that the British government may reverse its decision to leave the EU without consulting other member states.
It's a decision welcomed by those campaigning to stop Brexit.
In an emergency judgment delivered just a day before the British parliament is due to vote on a Brexit deal agreed with the EU by Prime Minister Theresa May, the Court of Justice (ECJ) said: "The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU."
The ruling is in line with an opinion delivered last week by a Court legal adviser. That had boosted the hopes of British Brexit opponents that a new referendum could be held that would prevent Britain's scheduled departure on March 29, 2019.
May faces heavy opposition in parliament to her Brexit deal and many expect her quest for approval to be defeated, setting up further tense talks with the EU when she goes to Brussels on Thursday for a summit of national leaders.
Alyn Smith, a Scottish nationalist member of the European Parliament and one of those Brexit opponents who raised the case seeking clarification of Article 50 of the EU treaty to the European Union's supreme court in Luxembourg said:
"Today's ruling sends a clear message to UK MPs ahead of tomorrow's vote that there is a way out of this mess. A light at the end of the tunnel for the economy, for jobs and for the UK's standing on the world stage. Now it's up to the UK.
"If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms."
May's environment minister Michael Gove, who campaigned for Brexit, dismissed the ruling by repeating the government's insistence that it would not reverse its decision to leave.Published: by Radio NewsHub