Today the UK Government lost another Brexit vote in parliament.  MPs voted down a motion of support for the government’s Brexit negotiating plans (plans which MPs had supported only 2 weeks ago).  This was a pretty meaningless, procedural vote but it doesn’t strengthen the Prime Minister’s hand in continued negotiations with Brussels. It is exactly three months since a deal was agreed in principle with the EU. It is a month since this deal was overwhelmingly defeated in Parliament.  We now have just six weeks left before the UK is due to leave the EU.  

Nothing has changed.  

The key points are the same as I set out in my Brexit updates two weeks ago and last week.  The only thing that has changed is that we are one more week closer to Brexit and once again the prospect of a No Deal Brexit has increased a bit more.

It will go down to the wire at the end of March. The most likely outcomes remain either No Deal (cliff edge Brext at 11pm on 29 March) or a last minute agreement that includes a delay to enable details to be thrashed out (which could continue the cycle of Groundhog Day debates in parliament…).

Yesterday I learned that HMRC (the government customs and tax department) has 3000 people working on No Deal preparations.  All organisations should heed this: if you haven’t done so already, activate your No Deal preparations now.  

It is not yet too late to start.  Working with clients this week we identified priority actions that should ensure they are prepared come the end of March.