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ECJ: Britain Can Stop Withdrawal Process From EU

FILE - The towers of the European Court of Justice are seen in Luxembourg, Jan. 26, 2017.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Monday that Britain retains the right to reverse its decision to leave the European Union.

“The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU," the Luxembourg-based ECJ said.

"Such a revocation, decided in accordance with its own national constitutional requirements, would have the effect that the United Kingdom remains in the EU under terms that are unchanged," the court said.

The ECJ ruling comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a House of Commons vote that had been set for Tuesday on whether to approve or reject the Brexit deal.

Britain voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the 28-member bloc, and invoked Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty in March 2017, to begin the two-year exit process.

Because the prospect of any country leaving EU was considered unlikely, the Article 50 contains few specific details about the process.

A group of Scottish legislators, however, had asked the ECJ to rule on whether Britain could reverse the withdrawal procedure on its own.

A majority of voters in Scotland had voted against leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum.