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The judgement means Theresa May cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers give their backing - although this is expected to happen in time for the government's 31 March deadline.

But the court ruled the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies did not need a say.

Brexit Secretary David Davis promised a parliamentary bill "within days".

Sources have told the BBC the bill - to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and get formal exit negotiations with the EU under way - will be introduced this Thursday, with an expectation that it could pass through the House of Commons in a fortnight. READ MORE