Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the European Union, the High Court has ruled. Yesterday’s news means the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – beginning formal discussions with the EU – on its own.

Theresa May had said that the Brexit referendum and ministerial powers meant that MPs did not need to vote, but campaigners argued successfully that it was unconstitutional. May had said she will activate Article 50, formally notifying the EU of the UK’s intention to leave, by the end of next March, but that timetable appears to be in serious danger, with potentially many months of parliamentary hurdles.

The government is expected to appeal against the decision, with a further hearing to be held in the Supreme Court.

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