Sterling fell and London's FTSE 100 index rose after Britain's Supreme Court ruled the government must legislate through parliament to trigger the start of talks on leaving the European Union. But as Ivor Bennett reports, plans to start the Brexit process by the end of March are unlikely to be hindered.
There isn't much certainty when it comes to Brexit. But one thing is now for sure, courtesy of Britain's Supreme Court, the highest in the land. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUPREME COURT PRESIDENT, DAVID NEUBERGER, SAYING: "Today, by a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court rules that the government can not trigger Article 50 without an Act of Parliament authorising it to do so." There was plenty of small print for those who wanted to read it. but the message was clear without it. Only parliament, and not government, can decide if Britain leaves the EU. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTORNEY GENERAL JEREMY WRIGHT SAYING: "Of course the government is disappointed with the outcome, but we have the good fortune to live in a country where everyone, every individual, every organisation, even government is subject to the rule of law." A victory for some, but the joy may be shortlived. Markets seeing Brexit more clearly than ever. SOUNDBITE) (English) KATHLEEN BROOK, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CITY INDEX, SAYING: "So we think it's more a formality. If anything this decision actually makes it quite likely Theresa May will be able to trigger Article 50 by the end of March, which is part of her timetable. Yes, she has to put this plan to a parliamentary vote but we think it will pass the vote." A bigger problem for markets - the judges' other ruling. That government doesn't need to consult the devolved parliaments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KATHLEEN BROOK, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CITY INDEX, SAYING: "This decision may sow the seeds of a potential second independence referendum for Scotland down the line. So that's why we think we've seen a bit of a mixed reaction in the pound." Sterling fell over a half a cent against the dollar. But didn't take long to recover. Like the ruling, perhaps, more of a jitter than a drastic shock.