The UK’s Supreme Court today rejected the government’s bid to prevent the possibility of its Brexit decision being reversed.
The failure of the government’s appeal means the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will go ahead and hear the case of whether Article 50 can be reversed on 27 November.
The court will hear the case after Scottish politicians asked it to clarify whether the UK can reverse its decision to leave the EU by March 2019 without permission from other member states.
Whitehall had argued it had no plans to do so, so the question of whether or not it could reverse the decision was irrelevant, but the Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal.
The government has insisted that Brexit cannot be reversed despite mounting support among MPs for a so-called people's vote on Brexit, with Jo Johnson quitting as transport minister over the Prime Minister's Brexit strategy and calling for a second vote earlier this month.
A snapshot Twitter poll City A.M. ran last week found 48 per cent of respondents support a second referendum, compared to 38 per cent who would rather a no-deal Brexit go ahead and 14 per cent who back Theresa May's draft withdrawal agreement.
May is trying to sell her agreement to the country, having defended it on LBC last Friday and put the case to businesses yesterday in a speech to at the CBI annual conference.
In that speech, May said the UK would not see a realised Brexit until 2022 when it fully leaves a temporary customs union with the EU that will start next March if May secures support for her vision of Brexit.
At least 22 MPs have sent letters of no confidence in May's premiership after it emerged the UK cannot quit this transition period without the EU's agreement.
McLaren and other companies defended the agreement yesterday, saying it provides "urgently-needed certainty".