On February 14, 2019, the House of Commons rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s motion on her approach to Brexit by a majority vote of 303 to 258. While the defeat will have no impact on the March 29th deadline by which time there either needs to be agreement with the EU on the terms for withdrawal or the UK will crash out of the EU with no deal, the loss will make it more difficult for the PM to argue to the EU that she has Commons support for her Brexit strategy. Members of Parliament already voted overwhelmingly against the draft Withdrawal Agreement on January 15, 2019.
No deal (hard) Brexit would mean that the EU and the UK would be third countries in relation to each other, forcing the UK to automatically fall back on the WTO Most Favored Nation rules unless the UK-EU agreed on a trade deal. Brussels has expressed interest in a plan for a softer Brexit involving a customs union with the EU, but as things currently stand there is no clear or agreed way forward. Time is fast running out for the PM to find a way past the current impasse and any request to delay the exit date would have to be agreed by all 27 EU Member States.
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