CJEU confirms that UK able unilaterally to revoke notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU

In response to a request for a preliminary ruling in Wightman v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) held on 10 December 2018 that the UK can unilaterally revoke its notice of withdrawal under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

Any decision to revoke is subject to a number of conditions: (1) it must be done before any withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK has entered into force or before the expiry of the two-year notice period under Article 50; (2) the revocation must be decided in accordance with national constitutional requirements; and (3) an unequivocal decision to revoke must be communicated in writing to the European Council.

The effect of the revocation would be to bring to an end the withdrawal procedure, while the terms of the UK’s membership of the EU would remain unchanged.

The CJEU’s reasoning follows closely the Opinion of Advocate-General Campos Sanchez-Bordona (reported previously here).  For the CJEU’s judgment, click here.