Brexit Ruling Coming Soon as EU Court Works at ‘Speed of Light’

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union’s top court is “reacting, in judicial terms, at the speed of light,” according to one lawyer, in its race to deliver a ruling on how the Brexit process could be reversed.

The day after a hearing on potentially the most important Brexit case of all, the EU’s Court of Justice said one of its advisers would issue a non-binding opinion on Dec. 4.

This paves the way for a full ruling from the tribunal in the same month -- potentially even before the U.K. Parliament’s Dec. 11 meaningful vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The question being asked is crucial: Could the U.K. unilaterally revoke its intention to leave -- the so-called Article 50 letter -- and if not what must it do?

Koen Lenaerts, the court’s president, promised a rapid ruling when he spoke at yesterday’s hearing on a case that has offered hope to those lawmakers and U.K. citizens pressing for a second referendum amid the nation’s biggest constitutional crisis since the 1930s.

It’s a far cry from the normal procedure at the court, which is often criticized for taking too long. Even cases that have been given so-called fast-track status can get bogged down in procedural wrangling and translations.

Next week’s opinion is intended to guide the full court on how it could rule. Most of the time, judgments are in line with opinions -- but this is not always true. That means the suspense won’t come to end on Dec. 4.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.