On 24 January 2017, the Supreme Court of England and Wales, by a majority of 8 to 3, upheld the High Court’s November 2016 decision that an Act of Parliament is needed before the UK Government can serve notice (under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union) on the European Council of the UK’s intention to leave the EU.
The Supreme Court also confirmed that consent is not required from the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly before the Article 50 notice can be served.
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017 was then published on 26 January 2017. As signalled by David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, the draft is straightforward and simply authorises Theresa May to serve the Article 50 notice. MPs are scheduled to begin debating the Article 50 Bill on 31 January 2017.