David Davis: government doesn’t know if Article 50 is ‘revokable’
At a meeting of the Brexit select committee, David Davis told MPs that the government didn’t know if Article 50 could actually be reversed once triggered. Here’s a tweet from the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg.
David Davis tells MPs govt doesn’t know if Article 50 process can be stopped once it starts – whether its ‘revocable’
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) 14 December 2016
And here’s a quote from Davis as reported in the Guardian’s live coverage:
It is very, very difficult to see [article 50] being revoked. We don’t intend to revoke it, and it may not be revocable, I don’t know.”
The statement is an important submission as up until now, the government’s position has that it Article 50 could not be revoked. It is also the position taken by the original challengers of the Brexit court case that went to the Supreme Court recently.
A Boost for a new Article 50 court case
At the weekend, we reported that Jolyon Maugham, a UK barrister, planned to challenge whether Article 50 was revokable in the Irish courts and European Court of Justice (ECJ). If anything, Davis’ comment shows that it’s definitely worth challenging.
You can see more on the meeting in our post here: Brexit plan won’t be published until February – at the earliest.
One of the other legal challenges argues that the UK would need to give the EEA formal notification of its intention to leave via Article 127. The challengers will have no doubt paid attention that maintaining EEA membership doesn’t seem to be in the government’s consideration.
See our earlier post on the three Brexit legal challenges the government is currently facing for a summary on each.