Theresa May Defeat is “Real Blow to the UK Real Estate Sector”
Rose Jinks - January 16, 2019
Theresa May’s Brexit deal defeat in Parliament last night is
a “real blow to the UK real estate sector”, according to industry experts.
The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal was rejected by 230 votes –
the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.
MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal yesterday
(15th January 2019), which set out the terms of Britain’s exit from
the EU on 29th March 2019.
The Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has now tabled a
vote of no confidence in the Government, which could trigger a general
election. The vote is expected at around 7pm tonight (Wednesday 16th
The defeat is a huge blow for May, who has spent more than
two years creating a deal with the EU.
The plan was aimed at bringing about an orderly departure
from the EU and setting up a 21-month transition period to negotiate a free
The vote was originally due to take place in December, but
was delayed by May.
The UK is still on course to leave the EU on 29th
March, but the defeat throws the manner of that exit, and the timing of it,
into further doubt.
MPs who want either another referendum, a softer version of the Brexit deal proposed by May, to stop Brexit altogether, or to leave without a deal will ramp up their efforts to get what they want, as the Prime Minister offered to listen to their arguments.
In ordinary times, such a crushing defeat on a key piece of
legislation would be followed by a resignation by the prime minister. However,
May signalled her intention to carry on in a statement immediately after the
“The House has spoken and this Government
will listen,” she said.
MPs are set to debate Labour’s no
confidence motion for around six hours following Prime Minister’s Questions
today at 12pm.
Corbyn said that this would allow the
House of Commons to “give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this Government”.
In her statement to MPs, May said that she
planned to return to the House next Monday (21st January 2019) with
an alternative plan, if she survives the confidence vote.
She said that she would explore any ideas
from cross-party talks with the EU, but she remained committed to delivering on
the result of the 2016 EU referendum.
However, the European Commission
President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the risk of a disorderly Brexit had
increased as a result of yesterday’s defeat.
He said that the agreement was “the only
way to ensure an orderly withdrawal”, and that he and the President of the
European Council, Donald Tusk, had “demonstrated goodwill”, with additional
clarifications this week to put MPs’ minds at rest.
“I urge the United Kingdom to clarify
its intentions as soon as possible,” he said. “Time is almost
Tusk said that he regretted the outcome of
the vote, and later tweeted: “Who will finally have the courage to say
what the only positive solution is?”
Mario Berti, the CEO of lender Octopus
Property, believes: “Whilst forecast,
the size of the defeat is a real blow to the UK real estate sector. Whilst a
lot of the uncertainty caused by Brexit has been priced into the property
market, this result is likely to lead to even more reluctance amongst real
estate developers and investors to move forward with their UK real estate strategies,
which will negatively impact the whole sector.”
Guy Harrington, the CEO
of specialist property lender Glenhawk, is pleased with the result: “This
outcome is certainly better than the deal that was on offer, that’s for sure.
The sooner it is taken off the table, the better. Hopefully, any further
negotiations with the EU will now be delayed, and, ultimately, Brexit
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