The U.K. government has been defeated in its appeal to the Supreme court, forcing ministers to formulate emergency legislation to authorise Britain's exit from the European Union. The supreme court ruled by a majority of eight to three that members of parliament must give their permission before Theresa May and her government trigger Article 50 to set in motion Britain's exit from the EU.

May's timetable in question

The judgement puts a spanner in May's plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. Although the judgement will not result in the will of the people being overturned by parliament, the decision made by the largest panel of judges in British supreme court history will likely protract the exit process.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: 'The verdict of the supreme court will not change the verdict of the British people. They voted for Brexit and they will receive Brexit. We have the utmost respect for the supreme's court decision and will be planning our next move shortly'.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, stated that his party will not look to 'frustrate the process of leaving the European Union'. However, it is likely that SNP and Liberal Democrat MPs will vote against the bill in order to score political points with remain voters. Tim Farron, Lib Dem leader, stated that his party will vote against the act unless Britain is given another opportunity to vote on a final Brexit deal.

"No government should be unanswerable"

Gina Miller, the lead claimant in the challenge, was in a jovial mood as she spoke to the press: 'No government can act without responsibility or be unanswerable. Parliament is sovereign. We have received substantial amounts of criticism from certain segments of the press but today's ruling proves that we had every right to challenge the decision'.

Lord Neuberger, the president of the supreme court, said: 'The alteration in law necessary to implement Brexit must be permitted by U.K. constitution. We hold that an act of parliament is necessary to allow ministers to give notice of the United Kingdom's departure to leave the European Union'.