Scotland will seek to intervene against the UK Government as it seeks to overturn a legal ruling which made clear MPs must approve the formal triggering of Brexit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The Lord Advocate, Scotland's most senior law officer, is to lodge a formal application at the Supreme Court to intervene in the case.

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Ms Sturgeon said it "simply cannot be right" that rights linked to membership of the European Union "can be removed by the UK Government on the say-so of a Prime Minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent".

The First Minister added: "So legislation should be required at Westminster and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before Article 50 is triggered."

It comes after three senior High Court judges last week ruled PM Theresa May does not have the power to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the two-year process of negotiating Brexit without the prior authority of the UK Parliament.

Her Government immediately announced plans to appeal against the judgment, taking the case to the Supreme Court.

The Scottish Government believes it must also be formally consulted before Article 50 is triggered.

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Lord Advocate James Wolffe is to lodge an application to intervene in the legal case as soon as the UK Government formally submits its appeal, Ms Sturgeon said.

The Scottish Government's intention to intervene in the case comes after the vote for Brexit put the union between Scotland and the rest of the UK under increasing pressure, with the SNP leader having already warned a second referendum on Scottish independence is now "highly likely".

On Tuesday, the First Minister said: "Let me be clear - I recognise and respect the right of England and Wales to leave the European Union. This is not an attempt to veto that process.

"But the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland and the national Parliament of Scotland cannot be brushed aside as if they do not matter."

While a majority of UK voters backed Brexit in June's referendum, almost two-thirds (62%) of Scots voted to Remain.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The Prime Minister said that on June 23 people across the UK had voted with, in her words, "emphatic clarity" when they voted by a margin of four points to leave the EU.

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"The margin for Remain in Scotland was 24 points - a far more emphatic and clear result.

"So the Prime Minister needs to live up to her promise to treat Scotland as an equal partner in the United Kingdom and listen to the will of the people of Scotland."

Answering questions from journalists, Ms Sturgeon was pressed on the basis on which the Scottish Government will seek to involve itself in the case.

She said: "It will be around the process for triggering Article 50 and obviously the central element of this case is the need for legislation in the House of Commons, and if there is a need for legislation in the House of Commons that raises the question of legislative consent, not just in the Scottish Parliament but in Wales and Northern Ireland as well.

"If that is going to be an issue that the court is looking at... then it is absolutely right that the Scottish Government is formally represented to make sure that the views that we would take around these processes are heard by the court."

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The First Minister said she would not go into the detail of what the Lord Advocate will argue, but made it clear she personally believes the UK Government should seek approval for triggering Article 50 through a legislative consent motion at Holyrood.

She said: "When you read the High Court judgment last week and all the rights that are affected by the triggering of Article 50, then it doesn't take much to see the rights that are then affected in Scotland. It strikes in many ways right at the heart of the devolution settlement.

"So I believe that as a matter of politics and as a matter of fairness and respect to the devolution settlement, before we even get into matters of law which are not for me to determine, then it is inconceivable that the UK Government would try to ignore or not seek the approval of the Scottish Government. And while I don't speak for them, I believe there are those both in the Welsh Government and indeed in the Northern Irish Government who would take a similar view about their own parliaments."

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Ms Sturgeon dismissed a suggestion that the move would be seen by Leave voters as the Scottish Government "interfering" in the process.

She said: "This is not an attempt to frustrate the will of people in England and Wales but it is part of our overall attempt to protect the will of the Scottish people.

"It's not a question of interfering, this is a decision that affects all of us and it affects the people of Scotland here just as much as it affects people right across the UK."

Following the revelation that several SNP MSPs voted for Brexit, she said it was up to her party's parliamentarians whether they wanted to reveal their vote or not.

"There is no doubt in my mind the vast majority of opinion in the SNP and our parliamentary groups was for Remain," she said.

The First Minister also said Scottish Government plans to publish options for a separate Scottish Brexit settlement are not contingent on the outcome of the court case and the timetable for making those public by the end of the year remains on track.

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Scottish Labour's Europe spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: "Labour supports the rights of MPs to hold Tory ministers to account on Brexit. Rather than spending the next six weeks appealing to the Supreme Court, the UK Government's time would perhaps be better spent getting on with outlining a clear plan for Brexit.

"Labour supports the objective of getting the best possible deal for Scotland, and that means remaining part of the UK and retaining a close relationship with the EU."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "It is welcoming to see the First Minister join the legal action against the unjust and undemocratic use of the royal prerogative to invoke Article 50 even if she dragged her heels in doing so.

"The decision made by the Supreme Court will have a profound impact across the whole of the United Kingdom and it is therefore right that Parliament gets a say on the matter. Theresa May could end all this and simply accept that there must be a democratic vote before Article 50 is invoked."

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A spokeswoman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: "It is for the court to decide on whether this intervention will be granted.

"As we have already said, we believe we have strong grounds for appeal and we are pressing ahead with this.

"We have been clear that the result of the UK-wide referendum should be respected, and that no part of the UK can have a veto.

"However, we are determined to deliver a deal that works for the whole of the UK. We will continue to engage with the Scottish Government and look forward to further discussions in the Joint Ministerial Committee meeting tomorrow."

Downing Street said the UK Government has the authority to deliver Brexit.

Asked whether the Prime Minister thinks she needs Scotland's consent to trigger Article 50, a Number 10 spokesman said: "We will wait and see what happens in terms of a Scottish Government application to intervene or not and what the decision of the Supreme Court is in the event that there is an application.

"What we are firmly of the opinion of is that it's the UK Government that will deliver on the instructions of the British electorate as set out in the referendum result on June 23."