It’s official: Article 50 can be withdrawn

Theresa May has been told Article 50 is reversable.
(Xinhua/Han Yan) (zjy)

Theresa May has been told Article 50 is reversable. (Xinhua/Han Yan) (zjy) - Credit: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Lawyers have told the Government that Article 50 is not binding and can be scrapped at any time before the March 2019 deadline, it has been claimed.

Jessica Simor, of Matrix Chambers which was co-founded by Cherie Blair, has said she believes the document that signalled the withdrawal process from the European Union can be reversed.

She also claims to have been told by two sources that Theresa May has been advised Britain is not legally bound to quit the EU.

Writing in the Observer Ms Simor said: 'Article 50 provides for the notification – not of withdrawal but of an 'intention' to withdraw.

'In law, an 'intention' is not a binding commitment; it can be changed or withdrawn. Article 50(5) is, moreover, clear that it is only after a member state has left that it has to reapply to join. Had the drafters intended that once a notification had taken place, a member state would have to request readmission.'

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She added: 'It is important that this advice is made available to the British public and their representatives in parliament as soon as possible.'

When May triggered Article 50 its author, Lord Kerr, commented that he believed the process could be halted in the future.

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The Prime Minister's spokesman refused to confirm if legal advice had been given to the government on Article 50.

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