Article 50 won't be invoked this year

Lynsey Barber
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British Prime Minister Theresa May Meets Scotland's First Minister
Triggering Article 50 will get the ball rolling on Brexit (Source: Getty)

The official signal of Britain leaving the EU will not be given this year, the government has said.

Article 50 will not be triggered in 2016, lawyers acting on behalf of the government told the high court this morning at the start of a legal battle over the matter.

Read more: Why lawyers are in a tizzy over Article 50

The court in London was told the current position of the government was that the notification to the EU will not be given before the end of the year, although that position could change.

The triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will give the UK two years in which to negotiate new trade deals with the rest of the world and agree the terms of the exit.

Read more: Law firm readies itself for Article 50 challenge

Action has been taken by several law firms over the issue, which many argue requires an act of Parliament to be invoked.

More than 1,000 barristers have signed an open letter supporting the view that the outcome of the historic referendum is "not legally binding". Law firm Mischon de Reya is one of several law firms challenging Article 50 in the courts.

The judge also outlined the timetable and further details of the case which will be heard in October.

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