Campaigners have won a shock victory in a High Court battle to give MPs a vote over Britain’s exit from Europe.
The landmark ruling comes after a three-day hearing in front of three of England’s top judges.
However, Prime Minister Theresa May has already said she will not be taking the ruling lying down, and the Government is set to launch an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court.
After months of struggling sterling values, the pound rose against other major currencies immediately following the ruling which found Mrs May does not have the power to invoke Article 50 on her own. Article 50 triggers the official two-year exit from Europe.
The news was immediately welcomed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and by campaigners who claimed it was a “victory for Parliamentary democracy”.
However, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who battled hard for a Brexit in the run up to the June referendum, said that there could now be a public backlash, given that the British public did vote to leave Europe.
UKIP donor Arron Banks went even further saying that the judges who made this decision had declared “war on British democracy”.
However, the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has said he believes this ruling will not have a great impact, only causing a slight delay in triggering Article 50.
He explained that even if the Government fail in their planned appeal, they could pass legislation to get around that, which could be done swiftly. Primary legislation, said Mr Grieve, has previously been passed through Parliament in as short a time scale as 48 hours in an emergency.
The ruling came as a new poll revealed that most British voters would now prefer to remain in the EU rather than going ahead with a divorce from Europe. However, the poll showed a very slim majority, with 51 per cent of respondents saying they wanted to stay and 49 per cent saying they would still vote leave.
That compares to the 52 per cent in favour of a Brexit and 48 per cent voting for Remain in the June referendum.
Even though some experts moved to play down the court decision, others said this could be hugely significant for the British constitution.
Trevor Tayleur, associate professor at The University of Law said the judgement was “potentially one of the most significant constitutional judgments given by a UK court.”