LONDON, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 04th Nov, 2016 ) - British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday told European leaders that her March deadline for triggering Brexit negotiations "remains unchanged" despite a court ruling that she first needs parliament's approval. May told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the "government's planned timetable for notification of Article 50 remains unchanged", during separate phone calls, according to a statement released by Downing Street.
She added the government was confident of winning its appeal of Thursday's High Court ruling that it must seek parliament's approval before starting EU exit talks. "The PM explained to both Chancellor Merkel and President Juncker that while the government was disappointed with the judgement, it had strong legal arguments ahead of the case moving to the Supreme Court," the statement said. The decision raises the prospect of a protracted parliamentary debate -- in a chamber that overwhelmingly opposed Brexit -- although EU leaders have urged a swift departure.
Lawmakers could also demand to know May's negotiating strategy and seek to maintain stronger ties with the bloc before agreeing to invoke Article 50. Liberal Democrat MP Nick Clegg told BBC Radio Friday that he and other pro-EU lawmakers would "seek... to amend the legislation such that parliament would say to government it should pursue a soft Brexit, not a hard Brexit." A so-called "hard Brexit" would see Britain pull out of the bloc's single market and impose tough immigration controls. In a sign of the likely parliamentary storms ahead, Conservative pro-Brexit lawmaker Stephen Phillips resigned as an MP on Friday, citing "irreconcilable policy differences with the current government".