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European Court of Justice's top advisor rules UK can revoke Article 50 and remain in European Union

The Advocate General’s opinion is not legally binding, but is often followed by the court’s 27 judges.

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THE EUROPEAN COURT of Justice’s Advocate General has ruled that the United Kingdom can unilaterally revoke Article 50 without the approval of the European Union.

Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona, who is the bloc’s top lawyer, published his written opinion this morning on a case to decide whether the UK can stop its exit from the EU.

The legal opinion states that “unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU” was possible without the need for the remaining 27 member states to agree.

“Unilateral revocation would also be a manifestation of the sovereignty of the departing Member State, which chooses to reverse its initial decision,” it adds.

The opinion is not legally binding, but the Advocate General’s opinion is often followed by the court’s 27 judges and provides a strong indicator of how they will rule in the case.

The case was brought by a number of members of Scottish parliament in Holyrood, who sought the court’s ruling on whether the UK could unilaterally stop Article 50.

The article was triggered in 2016, and will see the UK leave the EU on 29 March, 2019.

It comes the same day that the House of Commons begins a five-day debate on Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, which MPs will vote on next week.

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May faces opposition on all sides of the House of Commons to the agreement, agreed last month, but will insist that the deal is the only option for a smooth Brexit in March.

“The British people want us to get on with a deal that honours the referendum and allows us to come together again as a country, whichever way we voted,” she will tell MPs.

With additional reporting from AFP.

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