MPs gave the prime minister their backing for her last ditch bid to secure changes in Brussels, but the proposal approved by the Commons means she must now try to convince the EU to reopen the Brexit deal they spent 19 months negotiating, in order to rewrite the Irish backstop.
Senior European politicians ruled out any renegotiation within minutes of the vote, reigniting fears that a no-deal Brexit is imminent.
According to the CBI, businesses are now accelerating their plans for a no-deal scenario, which is already having an impact on the UK economy.
“This is another deeply frustrating day for British business,” said CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn.
She added that the Brady amendment, which calls for the Irish backstop to be removed from the Brexit deal, “feels like a throw-of-the-dice”.
“It won’t be worth the paper it is written on if it cannot be negotiated with the EU,” she said. “Any renegotiation must happen quickly – succeed or fail fast.
“Firms will welcome confirmation that a majority of MPs oppose a no-deal outcome. But rejecting a no deal doesn’t get a deal. Until MPs can agree a solution, delay will do nothing to lift the threat of an economic cliff edge that is draining money from the UK.”
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