EU Court to Rule on Brexit Case Ahead of Vote on May's Deal

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union’s highest court will on Dec. 10 tell the U.K. whether it should be allowed to unilaterally reverse Brexit, in a landmark ruling that could offer hope to those who want their country to call off the divorce.

The judgment comes the day before a crucial Parliament vote on the much-maligned withdrawal deal that Prime Minister Theresa May brought back from Brussels. In its ruling, the EU Court of Justice will say whether the U.K. could stop the Brexit process just by retracting the “Article 50” letter that signaled its intention to leave.

An adviser to the Luxembourg-based court said in a non-binding opinion this week that the U.K. can reverse its notice, without conditions attached. A ruling following the advice will embolden those who are fighting to reverse Brexit -- a campaign that’s gathering momentum. It could also encourage some wavering pro-EU lawmakers to vote against May’s deal.

But some, including Rupert Harrison, chief macro strategist at BlackRock, think it may also be good for May because it could alarm Brexit hardliners and encourage them to grudgingly support her plan, which faces opposition from all sides.

While the advocate general’s opinion is purely advisory, the EU judges usually follow such advice.

That would put “the decision about our future back into the hands of our own elected representatives -- where it belongs,” the pro-Remain lawyer Jolyon Maugham who brought the lawsuit said earlier this week.

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