Court ruling throws Brexit process into doubt

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Britain's stunning vote to leave the European Union is both historic and world-changing. But what does it really mean for folks living on the other side of the Atlantic? Potentially, everything -- the economy, national security, even the race for president.

LONDON– Britain’s plans to leave the European Union were thrown into confusion Thursday after a court ruled that members of parliament must be given a say in the process.

The U.K. High Court ruled that lawmakers should vote on whether the government can begin the formal Brexit process by triggering Article 50 of the EU treaty.

The ruling is a defeat for the government. Prime Minister Theresa May had said she plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017, meaning the U.K. would most likely leave the EU two years later.

Lawyers for the government had argued that May could take that step without consulting parliament. They said the people who brought the case — an investment manager and a hairdresser — were trying to overturn the result of the Brexit referendum in June, in which 52% voted in favor of leaving the EU.

But they also indicated that parliament would likely be given a chance to ratify the terms of exit eventually negotiated with the EU.

By Mark Thompson and Alanna Petroff