Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU, the High Court has ruled.

The court ruled that the UK government could not single-handedly start the legal process of leaving the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May had planned to trigger Article 50 before the end of March 2017 but will now need the approval of parliament.

According to BBC News Online the government is appealing, with a further hearing expected next month.

The prime minister’s spokeswoman said she would be calling President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to say she intended to stick to her March 2017 deadline for triggering Article 50, according to BBC News Online.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the referendum was held only following “a six-to-one vote in the Commons to give the decision to the British people.

“The people are the ones Parliament represents – 17.4m of them, the biggest mandate in history, voted for us to leave the European Union. We are going to deliver on that mandate in the best way possible for the British national interest,” he told the BBC.

Barry Gardiner, shadow international trade secretary, said the Brexit deal: “should not be smuggled through in secret” but subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the government would have to wait for the result of the appeal before it settled on a plan of action.

The three judges looking at the case found there was no constitutional convention of the royal prerogative – powers used by ministers – being used in legislation relating to the EU.

They added that triggering Article 50 would fundamentally change UK people’s rights – and that the government cannot change or do away with rights under UK law unless Parliament gives it authority to do so.

Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.
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