Decision is due soon on Brexit challenge

British barrister Jolyon Maugham is expecting imminently a decision from the appeal court in Edinburgh regarding his case seeking a referral to the European Court of Justice about whether the UK can cancel Brexit unilaterally.

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This comes as campaigners for Britons abroad in the EU have said that ‘no Brexit’ is the only option which will safeguard all their rights to go on living as now.

“We had a hearing, which went well, and I am cautiously optimistic we will get a referral,” he said. This follows a lower court decision to refuse the request.

He said if the ECJ rules that the UK can cancel article 50 unilaterally, it simplifies options for the UK. If it is not the case, he said, cancelling could depend on the other EU states, who might decide to impose conditions such as taking the euro or joining the Schengen Zone or abandoning certain opt-outs.

Mr Maugham hopes if successful at this stage, it will be possible to obtain an ECJ ruling this year.

He is now also awaiting a decision in another case seeking judicial review of the Electoral Commission’s running of the referendum. A further new Brexit challenge (not Mr Maugham’s) has been launched at

It is based on findings of overspending on behalf of the Leave referendum campaign.

French barrister Julien Fouchet is awaiting a decision from the General Court of the EU as to whether he will get a full hearing for his case on behalf of 13 Britons living abroad in the EU including Second World War veteran Harry Shindler, 97. It challenges the legal basis of the Brexit negotiations based on exclusion of long-term British expatriates from the Brexit referendum, which he considers broke EU free movement principles.

He has also launched a social media campaign aimed at all EU citizens who wish the UK to stay in the EU and Euratom, whose supporters so far include former Monty Python member Eric Idle. Mr Fouchet said: “The message is simple –‘you are not alone in this exit process; we are going to join together so you remain with us; Europe loves you’.” See @Eu27K on Twitter.

A European Citizens’ Initiative (formal petition to the EU to call for a new law) has begun at in a bid to make EU membership acquired for life but for technical reasons Britons in France cannot sign, whereas Britons and other Europeans in the UK can (see the Brexit section of our website for more on this).