The Brexit caused a lot of unrest, the voting result was very close. Scotland and Ireland, in particular, did not like the outcome of the vote. A Scottish court already appealed to the European Court of Justice in September on the revocability of the withdrawal declaration by the United Kingdom. This raises the question: Can the withdrawal process under Article 50 TEU actually still be stopped by Great Britain itself and, if so, under what conditions
Is a unilateral withdrawal of the resignation application permissible?
Never before has the withdrawal clause of the TEU been activated at all, and in fact nobody expected that the withdrawal option introduced in 2009 by the Treaty of Lisbon would be taken up so quickly. However, as the clause has never been activated, there is still uncertainty about its application.
Even the lawyers seem to disagree on the rejection of the resignation request. While most British lawyers believe that it is now possible for Great Britain, with the political will to do so, to stop the withdrawal process unilaterally, German lawyers seem to be of the opinion that a unilateral withdrawal is no longer possible, but that a unanimous decision of the European Council would be necessary in this respect. This would, however, require the agreement of all the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the Union.
ECJ to give its opinion
The ECJ will now decide in the foreseeable future whether it is actually possible to stop a withdrawal process that has been set in motion. The accelerated procedure has already been ordered, so that a decision can be expected within a few months.
What speaks against the unilateral revocation of the declaration of resignation in any case is that even the postponement of the resignation date requires the unanimous consent of all member states. If, however, such an extension already requires approval, then there is much to suggest that the solution of the resignation request should at least be linked to the approval of all Member States. But how the ECJ will position itself on this question in concrete terms is completely open.
Should the ECJ oppose the unilateral solution, the second referendum on the resignation of Great Britain, which is currently under discussion, should in any case also be off the table. There would still be the possibility of a renewed application for membership from Great Britain, which would set in motion the normal admission procedure.