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'Court ruling will not change Brexit timetable'

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Published : 2017-01-24 19:39
Updated : 2017-01-24 19:39

LONDON (AFP) -- Britain still intends to start talks on leaving the European Union by the end of March, despite a Supreme Court ruling that the government must first obtain parliamentary approval, Downing Street said Tuesday.

"The British people voted to leave the EU, and the government will deliver on their verdict -- triggering Article 50, as planned, by the end of March," a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May's office said.

"Today's ruling does nothing to change that."

Brexit minister David Davis will make a statement to parliament as 12:30 GMT on the next steps, with the government now likely to introduce emergency legislation approving the start of Brexit.

"We respect the Supreme Court's decision, and will set out our next steps to parliament shortly," the spokesman said.

Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty begins a two-year process of withdrawing from the bloc, putting into effect last June's referendum vote for Brexit.

"It's important to remember that parliament backed the referendum by a margin of six to one and has already indicated its support for getting on with the process of exit to the timetable we have set out," the spokesman said.