No Delays! Downing Street is confident it can activate Article 50 by March, despite today's high court ruling

Mark Sands
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June. (Source: Getty)

Downing Street is sticking to plans to activate Article 50 early next year despite this morning's high court ruling.

Today a high court judge ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May needed the approval of parliament to begin the process of quitting the European Union.

Despite the setback, Theresa May remains confident there will be no delays. The Supreme Court has set aside time to hear the government appeal next month.

Read More: Article 50: What happens next?

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said today: "Our plan remains to invoke Article 50 by the end of March. We believe the legal timetable should allow for that.

"We are very clear that the British people made a decision in a referendum with the largest turnout ever, backed in parliament, and it is the job of the government to get on with delivering the decision of the British people."

A government minister will make a further statement to the House of Commons on Monday.

At present the case would be unlikely to be appealed further to the European courts because it is focused on UK constitutional issues, rather than interpretation of European law.

Read More: The odds of a second EU referendum have halved after the Article 50 ruling

The government had argued that this summer's referendum result alone was enough to grant the government the prerogative to activate Article 50.

But this was rejected, despite the personal efforts of the attorney general Jeremy Wright who made the government's case in court.

Number 10 said today that May retained full confidence in Wright.

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