Commenting on the defeat of the Meaningful Vote on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, techUK CEO, Julian David, said:
“Tonight’s vote has failed, yet again, to lift the Brexit uncertainty that is hampering the ability of tech businesses to trade and invest. The process to ensure an orderly exit from the EU is running out of road.
“A No Deal Brexit would be highly damaging for tech businesses and the UK economy as a whole. It would create massive uncertainty around fundamental business issues, such as the free flow of data and access to talent. It is therefore now inevitable that MPs must, later this week, vote to extend Article 50 and avoid a No Deal Brexit on 29 March.
“However, simply extending the deadline for a few months will not be enough on its own. An extension must go hand-in-hand with renewed efforts to build a cross-party consensus that can deliver a majority in Parliament. That means serious consideration being given to future membership of the Customs Union and of the Single Market and, if Parliament remains in deadlock, the possibility of the issue being put back to the British public for a referendum.
“techUK backed the Withdrawal Agreement because it provided a workable route for Brexit. Parliament must now find a resolution to the Brexit impasse and allow the UK to refocus efforts on building the kind of digital economy that will drive our future prosperity.”