Brexit – What Happens in the Wake of the ‘Meaningful Vote’

Last night, after months of heated debate, Parliament finally had its ‘meaningful vote’ on the Brexit deal negotiated between the UK and EU. In the end, the deal was defeated by 432 to 202 – a crushing loss that throws the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan into disarray.

With the situation now so uncertain, what are the possible courses of action, and how will companies going international be affected?

While the recent Grieve amendment requires the Prime Minister to bring a plan B before Parliament within three days, her original deal now appears to be unsalvageable. Technically, this significant defeat takes us closer than ever to the possibility of a hard Brexit, as Article 50 has a set time limit which is due to expire on March 29th. However, the balance within Parliament has always been weighted towards a soft Brexit, and away from a no-deal scenario.

With Parliament so divided over the next course of action, the next few months could see more significant changes. The government’s loss will undoubtedly embolden those calling for a second referendum, but this still seems to be an unlikely outcome. Similarly, the Labour party will be renewing their calls for a general election, and have already tabled a vote of no confidence in the government – but whether they can persuade enough Conservative MPs to effectively topple their own government is doubtful.

Perhaps the most likely outcome is that the government will delay or extend Article 50 beyond the date of March 29th. In recent weeks, the EU has hinted that it is willing to allow an extension, during which time the government would be free to attempt renegotiation, and work towards a more consensual Brexit position within Parliament. Whether or not it will be Theresa May attempting these renegotiations, however, will depend upon the events of the next few weeks – her position as leader of the Conservative party now looks less secure than ever before.

What Does this Mean for International Business?

For companies looking to expand internationally, the result will have major long-term implications, but short-term uncertainty remains. Rather than delivering a clear outcome, the government’s defeat has actually increased the number of possibilities.

Although many in Parliament will want to avoid a no-deal scenario at all costs, the possibility cannot be discounted entirely. On the other hand, a soft Brexit resembling the so-called ‘Norway model’ could now be back on the table, with the next few weeks vital in deciding in which direction things will continue moving forward.

With Brexit continuing to cause confusion, businesses are understandably uncertain where they stand. As an international expansion concierge service, Galvin International untangles the complexities of international business, and helps you to develop custom business growth strategies to guide you through choppy waters.

Get in touch with our team of experts to find out how we can help and support your business.



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