MPs call for unity behind Theresa May after Supreme Court rules against government over Brexit

A man waves a flag outside the Supreme Court in London where Britain's most senior judges will rule if Theresa May has the power to trigger the formal process for the UK's exit from the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 24, 2017. Ministers are braced for the Supreme Court to decide that Parliament must be given a vote on starting the divorce proceedings. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire PPP-170124-104207001
A man waves a flag outside the Supreme Court in London where Britain's most senior judges will rule if Theresa May has the power to trigger the formal process for the UK's exit from the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 24, 2017. Ministers are braced for the Supreme Court to decide that Parliament must be given a vote on starting the divorce proceedings. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire PPP-170124-104207001

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MPs have called for swift action to speed up the delivery of Brexit after the government lost its battle with the Supreme Court to instigate Article 50 without the approval of parliament.

The decision came this morning following a historic court battle, with judges at the Supreme Court voting against Theresa May by a majority of eight to three.

The prime minister must now go through the House of Commons in order to invoke Article 50 with ministers expected to publish a short bill on the legislation shortly and votes to take place in the commons and House of Lords soon.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘The government was absolutely right to appeal the High Court judgement as important constitutional risks are at stake.

‘Ministers should now table the bill - for exiting the EU - in parliament immediately. It must be short and the long title of the bill tightly worded.

‘The House of Commons has already voted on Brexit, agreeing to the Government’s timetable on triggering Article 50 by the end of March.

‘MPs backed this by 461 votes to 89 - a significant margin of 372, so during the bill’s passage through parliament, the lords must not frustate the democractic will of the British people by delaying it or holding the commons hostage.’

Havant MP Alan Mak said ‘Brexit must happen’ and that Mrs May must be backed by the government.

He said: ‘In last June’s referendum, the British people voted to leave the EU and I will vote in parliament to ensure that result is respected.

‘Brexit will happen and now we must back the prime minister as she starts negotiations to get the best deal for Britain as we build a new relationship with the EU.’

He added that he ‘fully expects’ parliament as a whole to trigger Article 50

Catherine Bearder, MEP for the south east said: ‘This ruling has put a stop to Theresa May’s attempts to deliver Brexit through the back door.

‘Now MPs have the opportunity to follow their conscience and stand up against this Government’s destrictive hard Brexit.

‘However, democracy must not only be the preserve of politicians.

‘The people must be given total control over the destination of this country and have the very final say on any deal negotiated with the European Union.’

Bruce Potter, chairman of Portsmouth law firm Blake Morgan said: ‘Once again Brexit has given an unprecendented test of our constitution. Although it is unclear what form of parliamentary method the Government will now use to trigger Article 50, it is still expected to happen in time for the Government’s March 31 deadline.’