SCOTLAND’S highest court has rubber-stamped a ruling confirming MPs can halt Brexit following a year-long legal action by a group of Scottish politicians.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) found the UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50 – which triggered the Brexit process – without the agreement of the other 27 EU member states.

It said this must be decided following a "democratic process", after which the UK could remain a member of the EU on its current terms.

Now the Court of Session in Edinburgh has endorsed this decision, bringing an end to a lengthy and expensive legal battle between a cross-party alliance of Scottish politicians and the UK Government.

Scotland's most senior judge Lord Carloway, the Lord President, said: "This court will grant a declarator which mirrors the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which I think brings the proceedings to an end.”

He ruled all expenses and fees must be covered by the UK Government, with the total bill capped at £105,000.

Led by Green MSP Andy Wightman, the group of Scottish politicians included fellow Green MSP Ross Greer, Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, SNP MEP Alyn Smith, SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, briefly LibDem MP Christine Jardine, and was supported by Jolyon Maugham QC of the Good Law Project.

Mr Smith said the result was “a slam dunk for Scotland’s parliamentarians against a UK Government that has been arrogant and obstructive throughout this entire process”.

He said UK ministers had been given “a comprehensive skelp from the highest court in Scotland”, adding: “This is a considerable vindication – a total vindication of us bringing the case in the first place, a vindication of the way that we brought the case, a vindication of Scotland’s vote to remain, and a vindication of Scotland’s position as an independent judiciary within the United Kingdom.”

Mr Wightman said the UK Government had been “thoroughly disrespectful to the cause we have promoted”.

He added: “It’s been a very nihilistic approach by the UK Government, and that was reflected again today.

“We’ll see what the expenses look like, but we’ve won the case and all the expenses have been awarded to the petitioners.”

Mr Greer said the UK Government had been “roundly humiliated and defeated”.

The case was originally heard in the Court of Session and two attempts by the UK Government to appeal against the referral to the European court were rejected.

UK ministers had argued it was a "hypothetical validity challenge”, and that whether Article 50 could be revoked was merely an academic matter.

But in a statement following its ruling on December 10, the ECJ said: "The full court has ruled that, when a member state has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that member state is free to revoke unilaterally that notification.

"That possibility exists for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that member state has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, and any possible extension, has not expired."

It added: "The revocation must be decided following a democratic process in accordance with national constitutional requirements. This unequivocal and unconditional decision must be communicated in writing to the European Council."

The UK Government has stressed it has no plans to revoke Article 50, but anti-Brexit campaigners say the law has now been clarified and remaining in the EU is a clear option. 

It also substantially increases the pressure on Theresa May, who has delayed a vote on her Brexit divorce deal until mid-January.

Lawyers representing the Council of the European Union and from the European Commission previously argued revocation is possible but would require unanimous agreement from all member states.

Andrew Webster QC, representing the UK Brexit Secretary, argued against awarding costs to the Scottish politicians.

He said the group had crowdfunded around £200,000 for their legal fees so the court could "take some comfort" in that.

But Lord Carloway rejected his argument and insisted the petitioners were entitled to their expenses.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Greer said: "Throughout this whole process we have seen the contempt the UK Government has shown us for attempting to lead them into finding some legal clarity here.

"In no other example we have found in modern history has a government anywhere gone to these lengths to limit their options, to limit the options of their own parliament.

"They have yet again been roundly defeated, we have opened up another avenue in the Brexit process.

"It's very much now a political process, not a legal process."