U.K. Parliament Must Vote on Brexit Says High Court

Theresa May - Getty H 2016
Credit: Getty / Jack Taylor

The news is seen as a blow for prime minister Theresa May and could delay the Brexit, with some also expressing hope it can still be derailed.

The U.K. high court on Thursday ruled that the government can't trigger negotiations to leave the European Union without a vote from the British parliament.

The news was seen as a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May as she had planned to launch the EU exit process without such a vote. Her government said it would appeal the decision.

The government could as a result have to go through a formal parliamentary approval to trigger the so-called Article 50, which begins a two-year window for exit negotiations.

Some observers immediately expressed hope that the news could lead to a Brexit derailment. But others said with a slight majority of voters having decided in favor of the British exit from the EU this summer, lawmakers would likely back the move if there was a parliamentary vote.

The vote could be stopped in an appeal, on which the country's supreme court must rule. The pound rose against the dollar following the news.