In a massive blow to the government, German lawyer Rudolph Shnitz has highlighted a clause in section 4 of article 38 dubbed ‘The Santa Clause’.

Mr. Shnitz said “The clause was added in 1998 and basically prevents any of the largest economies in the union from leaving, on account of how much they contribute to helping less well off countries.”

Theresa May has sought council with the Supreme Court, a move which looks fruitless.

“All EU states agreed to the clause at the time of implementation, which is going to make leaving an impossibility.” warned top law lord Sir Justice Dempsey-Makepiece.

The news has angered Nigel Farage who has threatened to take his UKIP army to Brussels.

More follows.