15 January 2019 – Brexit Update – Brexit deal voted down!


Today, the UK’s House of Commons voted on Mrs. May’s Brexit deal.  As widely expected, the Brexit deal was voted down.

Although it’s still unclear what’ll happen next, the voting down of the deal requires that Mrs. May come back to the House of Commons with an alternative motion by next Monday, opening a door for the House of Commons to vote on alternative scenarios – from a “managed no-deal” to a further referendum or even the withdrawal of the Article 50 notification.

Furthermore, the Labour opposition party already announced several times that it may put forward a motion of no confidence, which, if passed, may result in the formation of a new government or even new elections.

For all scenarios, time’s running out. When Mrs. May invoked Article 50 on 29 March 2017, the two-year period, as foreseen in Article 50 for an EU Member State to leave the EU, was triggered. Although that two-year period could be extended, if requested by the UK and with the unanimous agreement of all 27 EU Member States for such an extension. If not, Brexit will happen on 29 March 23:00 GMT / 30 March 00:00 CET.

Although the voting down of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement of 14 November 2018 means that there are still different scenarios possible whilst the Brexit Clock’s ticking, businesses should – as recommended by the UK Government, the EU Commission and the EU Council/Member States – shift to higher gears in their preparation for a no-deal Brexit. A no-deal Brexit would heavily impact businesses through increased lead times, customs formalities to be complied with, duties to be paid on products, regulatory rules to adhere to and much more.  

For support, reach out to our multidisciplinary Brexit team that has unparalleled practical and pragmatic experience, and can share best practices on how to mitigate the impact on your business to the maximum extent possible. Our unique Brexit impact assessment tool can provide a view on the magnitude of the financial impact of a no-deal scenario on your business based on readily available information, with almost no need for investment of your management’s time.   



Pascal Janssens, Lionel Van Reet, Claire De Lepeleire