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The 11 top judges set the stage for a showdown by ruling that the Prime Minister cannot use executive powers to begin the formal process of leaving the EU - and must pass legislation. The humiliating defeat for the government will spark fresh fury among Brexiteers who have accused pro-EU forces of trying to frustrate the result of the historic referendum. But Downing Street has already insisted the outcome will not change Mrs May's pledge to invoke the Article 50 process by the end of March. Ministers are now set to bring forward a short Bill, designed to provide minimal opportunities for Remain-supporting MPs and peers to table amendments. However, Labour has indicated it will try to alter the law in a bid to soften the PM's Brexit plan. The scope of the PM's powers under the royal prerogative were called into question by Remain campaigner and former model Gina Miller - who won an extraordinary victory in the High Court that caused explosive political rows about the role of judges intervening on the will of the people.

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