• Vote on the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement:
    • Theresa May’s proposed exit deal with the EU was rejected by the House of Commons by 230 votes, the largest defeat ever suffered by any government, with 118 out of 317 Conservatives voting against the deal. Mrs May said following the defeat “It is clear the House does not support this deal but the vote tells us nothing at all about what it does support”. (The FT)
    • Mrs May’s statement following the defeat also offered cross-party talks and two reassurances: 1) that the government’s strategy is not to run down the clock to 29 March and that the government will table an amendable motion by Monday; and 2) that she considers it her “duty to deliver” on the referendum result. (Reuters)
  • Vote of no confidence:
    • Immediately following the defeat, Jeremy Corbyn called the defeat both “catastrophic” for the government and “absolutely decisive” whilst announcing a motion of no confidence in the government, to be debated and voted on tomorrow evening, 16 January 2019. (FT)
    • Mrs May is expected to win the confidence vote because neither the Conservatives nor the DUP want a general election. Spokespersons for both the hard Brexit European Research Group and the DUP expressed their support for the prime minister in tomorrow’s vote. Eurosceptic MPs believe the emphatic nature of tonight’s defeat make a ‘clean break’ no-deal Brexit more likely. (BBC)
  • UK political reaction:
    • Boris Johnson said “I do think this deal is dead and its very important that is recognised.” He added that the defeat has “given the UK a massive mandate” to “go back to Brussels” and say the current deal, including being “locked in the customs union”, “won’t work for us”. (BBC)
    • Ian Blackford, an SNP MP, says “the clock is ticking” and called for a “suspension of Article 50, put this to the people in a ‘People’s Vote'”. (BBC)
    • Sammy Wilson, DUP spokesperson, said the DUP wanted “a change in policy” not a change in government. (BBC)
  • Business reaction:
    • Sterling reacted positively to the defeat, initially dropping to a low against the dollar at $1.2672 but quickly reversing its losses to sit at $1.2863, almost exactly where it sat this morning. Dean Turner, UK economist at UBS Global Wealth Management said “markets are firmly focused on the risks of a no deal and/or a potential general election”. (FT)
    • The Confederation of British Industry reacted to the vote by saying “Every business will feel no deal is hurtling closer. A new plan is needed immediately. This is now a time for our politicians to make history as leaders.” (BBC)
    • Citibank analysts said “The probability of Article 50 extension is now very high, and the stock of Article 50 revocation is rising too.” (Reuters)
  • EU reaction:
    • Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission President, said this evening “The risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom has increased with this evening’s vote.” (Reuters)
    • Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, tweeted “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” (Reuters)
Author

Jessica's practice focuses on international trade and anti-bribery work, encompassing customs, export control and sanctions matters. Jessica's trade work includes advising international clients on fast-moving and evolving EU and UN sanctions, notably in respect of Iran and Russia, and on compliance with UK and EU export controls. Her trade experience also includes advising on tariff classification and customs valuations. Jessica's anti-bribery experience includes assisting with investigations, and advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery laws. Jessica has also taken a lead role in monitoring Brexit-related developments; analysing how they will affect the UK's trading position generally, and clients' businesses specifically. She has helped clients begin to conduct risk assessments of how Brexit will impact their businesses, and has assisted them in developing tailored Brexit strategies. Jessica also presents at various seminars, webinars, and conferences on the complexities of Brexit. Jessica advises global clients on complex issues arising from international transactions and works with clients across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, defence, finance, aviation, energy, and telecommunications. Jessica has also worked previously in Paris, and is fluent in French.

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