The Irish High Court will hear a new challenge [Independent report] to Brexit [BBC backgrounder] after tens of thousands of pounds were raised, according to reports Sunday. The challenge contends that Article 50 [text, PDF] is revocable once it is activated. Under EU law, a member state has two years after Article 50 is triggered to leave the union. The case is being brought before Ireland as an EU member state needs to be named in the legal action. The new challenge asserts that the European Council and European Commission may have breached EU law in relation to Article 50. It is expected that the Irish court will refer the case to a higher court operating on a European level.
A majority of British citizens voted in a referendum to leave the EU. The vote, an extension of British discontent with the EU, defied the suggestions of economists and British leaders, leading to the resignation of Prime minister David Cameron [JURIST report]. The implications of this move extend beyond just immigration, though, as many believe this separation will negatively affect the British economy, which will likely be cut off from the EU’s single market unless an agreement between the two can be reached. While the vote has fallen in favor of departure, no legal changes have taken place yet [Guardian report], as Britain must take further steps to confirm its separation. The EU has set out a mechanism for leaving in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, where a member state “may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements,” and “must notify the European council of its intention.” Under Article 50, a member country can only be removed from the EU two years after notification. While Britain might bypass this process through repeal of the European Communities Act of 1972, it is believed that this would make coming to a preferential trade agreement with the EU more difficult.