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Theresa May’s government lost the vote on the deal to leave the European Union on Tuesday, so the question is, what will happen next? There are many different permutations; here a just a few to consider as Brexit negotiations continue:
No confidence motion
Following the vote on Tuesday, the Labour Party tabled a no-confidence motion in Theresa May’s government. Had this been successful it would have led to a general election. Having survived the vote, Theresa May is seeking to establish a cross party consensus on how to proceed although at present, this does not seem to involve the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
A Second Referendum
Support for this approach is growing but it does not appear to command a majority in Parliament. Theresa May has remained steadfastly against the idea as has the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. Support in the Labour Party for a second referendum appears high, so Jeremy Corbyn may well be persuaded to adopt to adopt the so called “people’s vote”. In this scenario, voters might be asked to choose between Theresa May’s plan and remaining in the European Union. This would require the consent of Parliament
Theresa May returns to the EU
Theresa May could go back to the EU and seek further concessions. This may be difficult for her as the EU has shown little willingness to re-negotiate the deal without her abandoning some or all of her ‘red lines’, such as the free movement of labour. This will be unpalatable for many members of the Conservative Party, not least the European Research Group of MPs led by Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Under Article 50 suspension of the two-year negotiating period needs the approval of all 27 member states. They may agree to this if Britain held another election or referendum, or had a clear new plan. The political pundits are of the view that the EU will not entertain this if the government simply wanted more time to argue or haggle further concessions from the bloc.
Theresa May call an election
A bold gesture and in these extraordinary times not one to be discounted lightly. An election victory with an increased majority may be sufficient to get her deal through, but considering the scale of the defeat on Tuesday this seems an unlikely strategy. She tried this in 2017 and ended up in a worse position and this time round an election could open the door for a Labour government.
No Deal Exit
This is the default option should Theresa May be unable to come up with a workable Plan B. Although a no deal option is favoured by some, with the UK trading under WTO rules, it does not have wide support within Parliament and many analysts predict it could cause considerable chaos. Jeremy Corbyn has contacted all Labour MPs asking them not to talk to the government about Brexit until no deal has been ruled out. Political observers view this outcome as unlikely, but it is not impossible.
How will Brexit affect your business?
Whatever the outcome, we are here to help and can guide you how best to position your business to deal with whatever Brexit throws at you. If you’re worried about the implications of Brexit on your business, speak to the team today by calling 01482 325242.