Yesterday, Theresa May’s Brexit deal was voted down in a historic Commons defeat. The deal was rejected by 230 votes: the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. Corbyn issued a vote of no confidence in the government, set to take place tonight, which could trigger a general election.
It is advised that businesses must start seriously preparing for a no-deal scenario. The vote shows that there is really no indication as to what sort of deal could get the MP’s approval. As opinions vary so strongly in the commons, a no-deal Brexit becomes more and more likely.
If a general election is triggered, the new government would not be in place until March at the earliest. While the domestic politics unravels, the clock keeps ticking on the Brexit deadline.
The Law Society said that the vote leaves three possible ways forward: (1) the prime minister could ask for an extension and then seek a new round of negotiations; (2) deadlock in parliament could see the UK moving towards a new referendum or a general election; (3) or the UK could leave on 29 March without a deal.
It is notable that Robert Buckland, the current Solicitor General has argued for a free vote on any possible Brexit deal. He stressed that the referendum was not fought on party lines but rather just fought for Remain or Leave.