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As possible no-deal Brexit looms, companies trading across English Channel, Ireland and Northern Ireland anticipate major changes

On Jan. 15, the British House of Commons voted to reject the deal reached by Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union by a record-breaking 230 votes. It marks the largest defeat by a sitting government in U.K. history. The defeat also triggered a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister’s ruling government, which took place on Jan. 16. The prime minister narrowly won that by 19 votes, and has vowed to listen to opposition members regarding the best path forward for Brexit.

British members of Parliament voted against the deal and crossed party lines for many different reasons. These included the opposition to controversial provisions, such as the “Irish backstop,” as well as calls for a second referendum, a softer version of Brexit, stopping Brexit altogether, or leaving the EU with no deal. The prime minister’s government is now in a weak state and will have to listen to the many voices calling for a separate deal; however, May’s position vis-à-vis European negotiators may be strengthened, after the British parliament demonstrated it would be willing to vote down an agreement they didn’t like, even at the last hour.

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