Theresa May
British Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to activate Article 50 without MPs' approval have been blocked by three High Court judges Getty Images

Theresa May has vowed to deliver Brexit despite a setback in the courts, and has warned politicians to "accept" the will of the people.

Making her views heard publicly for the first time since Thursday's (4 November) High Court ruling that MPs must vote on whether Article 50 should be triggered, the prime minister has said government needs to "get on with the job" and told opponents not to refight "battles of the past".

Writing for the Sunday Telegraph, she confirmed she will challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court and that delivering Brexit was a matter of principle.

May said: "This may appear to be a debate about process, and the legal argument is complex, but in reality, there is an important principle at stake.

"Parliament voted to put the decision about our membership of the EU in the hands of the British people. The people made their choice, and did so decisively.

"It is the responsibility of the government to get on with the job and to carry out their instruction in full. MPs and peers who regret the referendum result need to accept what the people decided."

May's comments come after a testing week for the PM, as after the High Court ruling temporarily blocking May's plans, Tory MP Stephen Phillips resigned from his Lincolnshire seat of Sleaford and North Hykeham, citing "significant policy differences" with the current government as the reason for his departure.

May also faced criticism from MPs across the political spectrum for not defending the principle of an independent judiciary and was urged to calm the "mob psyche" after various media outlets took issue with the High Court's ruling.

A Number 10 source told the Telegraph: "We have never questioned the independence of the judiciary. We've been very clear we disagree with their ruling and that is why we are appealing. But to suggest we questioned their independence is nonsense."

Phillips is the second Conservative MP to have resigned in the last two weeks. On 25 October, Zac Goldsmith resigned from the Tory party, over the decision to allow Heathrow to build a third runway. Goldsmith's resignation triggered a by-election for his seat of Richmond Park and North Kingston, which he intends to run in as an independent candidate. However, the Conservative Party has said it will not field a candidate to oppose him.