On Wednesday night, the House of Commons voted in favour of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at its third reading. Assuming there are no attempts to block or amend the legislation in the House of Lords, the vote paves the way for the Government to be able to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017 as originally intended.
The Government had earlier accepted that Parliament would be given the opportunity to vote on any final deal between the UK and the EU on the terms of Brexit – and that this would take place before the European Parliament does the same. Significantly, however, despite opposition parties tabling numerous proposed amendments, which might have constrained the Government in its negotiations, all were ultimately defeated. The Bill, which simply authorises the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50, passed unamended in its original form.