I RECALL a happier time when I wasn’t able to recite passages of the Lisbon Treaty word for word. Sadly, the articles related to Brexit are more or less indelibly fixed in my mind these days.

One such passage is Article 50. This is the text that governs the exit of an EU member state from the union.

And, frankly, Article 50 is a rubbish piece of legislation, largely because it was written in a happier time when it was almost unimaginable that any member state would want to leave the EU. It was never designed to be used.

However, we are where we are and it is what it is, and it is the rule book of the Brexit process.

I would like to think that the UK Government understood the implications of officially pressing the start button on the withdrawal procedure – but I am increasingly doubtful that they did.

Primarily, this is because it seems impossible to fathom how any serious or responsible politician could start a time-limited process with no idea of where they want to end up.

It is hubris and recklessness of a sort I never thought I’d see. But we have seen it from May and one can presume this was entirely because of pressures within her own party.

She didn’t even want to include the Westminster Parliament in the process, and was only forced to after the Gina Miller case.

And as for the so-called opposition? Corbyn wanted it triggered even sooner.

It is legitimate to want to leave the EU, but there was no prospectus, no unified proposition that people voted for so, I believe, it was a very flawed mandate. And that’s leaving aside the assortment of claims of wrongdoing on the part of the various Leave campaigns.

Combine this with the absolute shambles of what is commonly referred to as the “negotiations” by the UK Government, and I think we have the ingredients for a collective change of heart on leaving.

But legally, can we? Is that possible? Article 50 itself says nothing about the notification to withdraw being revoked.

To get clarification on this point, I, along with Joanna Cherry QC MP, Andy Wightman MSP, Ross Greer MSP, David Martin MEP and Catherine Stihler MEP have been seeking legal clarification.

Can Article 50 be revoked, and on what terms?

It is clear that it can, but there is now an industrial-scale spin operation in effect to try to persuade people that Brexit is somehow inevitable, even that it has already happened.

Well, it isn’t and it hasn’t, and it is up to more responsible politicians to work together to bring clarity to this bizarre set of events.

Can MPs revoke Article 50 if it is clear that Brexit will leave us poorer and damaged?

MEPs will also have a vote on the deal: what happens if we reject it and persuade our colleagues to do likewise?

It is imperative that MPs at Westminster, as well as MEPs in Strasbourg, know the detailed implications of rejecting a deal on Brexit.

Last week, the panel of appeal judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh agreed to refer our case to the European Court of Justice, and under an expedited procedure due to the urgency of the issue.

Accurately, Lord Carloway, who was part of the appeal panel, commented: “It seems neither academic nor premature to ask whether it is legally competent to revoke the notification and thus to remain in the EU.”

Another of the appeal panel judges, Lord Menzies, said: “There will have to be a vote, and it appears to me to be legitimate for those who are involved in that vote to know, by means of a judicial ruling, the proper legal meaning of Article 50, and in particular whether a member state which has given notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU may revoke that notification of intention unilaterally before the expiry of two years after the notification.”

The Tory Government has fought us tooth and nail, on the basis that such a revocation is hypothetical so we should just be quiet, get to the back of the bus and let them get on with it.

Well, it might not be hypothetical for much longer.

I’m not going to stand by and allow them to steer us onto the rocks, and in doing so spend most of their time trying to persuade the public the rocks are out to get us.

We deserve a clear-eyed, rational roadmap of how to exit from all this, and the European Court of Justice will give us one, before the end of the year. Then it will be up to us and others to make decisions.

Take back control? Yes, I would say it is high time for that.