Fri Dec 7th, 2018 at 09:25:59 PM EST
The European Court of Justice will rule Monday on whether the UK can stop Brexit by unilaterally taking back its article 50 notification. This is one day before Theresa May's withdrawal agreement goes to a vote in the Commons. If the ECJ goes along with its advocate general's opinion last week and rules that unilateral revocation is indeed possible, MPs will vote on the withdrawal agreement knowing that there is definitely an avenue open to stop Brexit. This may motivate remainers more strongly to vote down May's deal, though by the same token it may move hardline leavers to support it. Still, the expectation is that May's deal is doomed anyway. The following is a scenario for Brexit revocation, with the caveat that I don't think it is likely because Labour is not actually for Remain.
Here's the sequence of events I envisage:
- ECJ allows unilateral revocation
- House of Commons votes down May's deal
- House of Commons votes a resolution urging the government to withdraw its Art. 50 notification of intention to withdraw from the EU
- PM May refuses. She either resigns, or calls—and loses—a confidence motion
- A general election follows, fought on Brexit revocation
- A new government is formed favourable to Brexit revocation
- The new parliamentary majority votes to reiterate the resolution urging the government to revoke Brexit
- The PM notifies the EU Council of Brexit revocation
This is a long shot and could fail at any step, but the perspicacious reader will have noticed the weakest link in the chain is the idea of a general election being fought on Brexit revocation, because neither the Tory party nor the Labour party would campaign to revoke. Jeremy Corbyn is sure to be asked at every turn in the campaign whether he would revoke Brexit if he were PM, and I doubt very much that he would say yes.