SCOTLAND’S top judge has set a date for the UK Government to challenge a ruling on whether MPs can stop Brexit.

At the Court of Session on Friday, the Lord President, Lord Carloway, said he would hear an application for leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court on November 8.

Green MSP Andy Wightman, one of those fighting for MPs to be allowed to stop Brexit, said the UK Government was “bricking itself” over the case’s implications.

In September, Lord Carloway and two fellow judges referred the issue to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a definitive ruling.

The ECJ is being asked by a group of Scottish politicians if MPs can revoke the Article 50 withdrawal process underlying Brexit without the agreement of the other 27 EU states.

If the Luxembourg court, which is due to consider the question on November 27, rules that they do have that power, it could lead to MPs forcing the UK government to abandon Brexit.

The UK Government has fought the action all the way.

It won an initial Court of Session victory in June by arguing the matter was “hypothetical and academic”, and Lord Boyd agreed.

However that decision was overturned on appeal by Lord Carloway, Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young last month, who said a reference to the ECJ was “necessary”.

Lord Carloway wrote: “It is clear in terms of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, that MPs will be required to vote on whether to ratify any agreement between the UK government and EU council.

“It seems neither academic nor premature to ask whether it is legally competent to revoke the notification and thus to remain in the EU.”

The UK government is now asking the same three judges to refer their decision to the UK Supreme Court on appeal.

If successful, the UK Government is expected to ask separately for the Court of Session to withdraw or stay its original reference to the ECJ.

During a brief hearing on Friday, Lord Carloway, sitting with his fellow judges, said: "We will fix the hearing for November 8."

Next month's hearing could go several ways.

The Court of Session could grant the appeal request but reject the one on the ECJ.

If the Court of Session rejected the appeal request, the UK Government could ask the UK Supreme Court directly to hear an appeal.

However under the Court of Session Act 1988, the Court of Session’s word on the ECJ reference appears to be final and cannot be appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

In the meantime, the ECJ process continues in tandem, with both sides due to make their submissions to Luxembourg on the Article 50 issue by October 30.

The UK Government has never said explicitly whether it believes MPs could revoke the withdrawal notice, and an ECJ case would force them to show their hand.

The fight for a definitive ECJ ruling has been led by Mr Wightman, fellow Green MSP Ross Greer, Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, SNP MEP Alyn Smith, SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC and Scottish LibDem MP Christine Jardine.

Outside court, Mr Wightman said the UK Government’s resistance suggested it was alarmed about having to make its case at the ECJ and potentially losing control of Brexit.

He said: “The UK Government has not wanted this matter referred to the Court of Justice, we know that. They’re very, very keen not to have this argument aired.

“But I’m pretty confident this argument will be aired in Luxembourg and we will have an answer as to whether Article 50 can be unilaterally revoked or not.

“That’s the substance of our case. That’s the key question.

“Failure to conclude a deal this week by the UK government… is good news as far as we are concerned, because we want to the decision on the unilateral revocability of Article 50 made well before there is a meaningful vote in the House of Commons.

“I think the UK government is bricking itself. It’s got plenty to get exercised about.

"Failure to conclude a deal by the October deadline is a measure of the chaos that the government is in. I’m sure they won’t want further options thrown into the mix, but at the moment it looks like the more options we have the better.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We were disappointed by the decision of the Court of Session and are seeking to appeal it in the Supreme Court. But it remains a matter of firm policy that we will not be revoking the Article 50 notice, and we will not comment further on ongoing litigation."