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UK Supreme Court says Parliament must vote on Brexit

The UK Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Parliament must vote on whether the government can start the process of Brexit -- Britain's exit from the European Union (EU), the media reported.

Reading out the judgement, Supreme Court President David Neuberger said: "By a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court today (Tuesday) rules that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 (the mechanism that formally initiates a two-year negotiation period to leave the EU) without an Act of Parliament authorising it to do so."

The judgement means that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers give their backing -- although this is expected to happen in time for the government's March 31 deadline, the BBC reported.

The apex court also rejected arguments that the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly should get to vote on Article 50 before it is triggered.

Neuberger said: "Relations with the EU are a matter for the UK government."

Some 52 per cent of the UK electorate opted to exit the EU in a historic referendum on June 23, 2016.

Outside the court, Attorney General Jeremy Wright said the government was "disappointed" but would "comply" and do "all that is necessary" to implement the court's judgement.

Brexit Secretary David Davis will make a statement to MPs later on Tuesday.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "Labour respects the result of the referendum and the will of the British people and will not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said he would press for a second referendum on the final deal reached between the UK government and the EU, the BBC reported.

The case against the government was brought by Gina Miller, an investment manager, and hairdresser Deir Tozetti Dos Santos.

Miller said Brexit was "the most divisive issue of a generation", but added that her victory was "not about politics, but process".

The Supreme Court's judgement backs that made by the High Court last year, against which the government appealed.
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