Tuesday saw the UK parliament rejecting Prime Minister, Theresa May’s Brexit deal. It was voted against by 432 to 202. These numbers are now being regarded as the steepest defeat ever suffered by a British Prime Minister in Parliament since 1918.
The law-makers who voted against the attempted deal to be struck between the European Union and the United Kingdom government included Members of Parliament from May’s own Conservative Party as well. The agreement had charted out terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union on March 29.
May stated that, “It is clear that the House does not support this deal, but tonight’s vote tells us nothing about what it does support. Nothing about how – or even if – it intends to honour the decision the British people took in a referendum parliament decided to hold.”
The vote of no-confidence called by Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will be held on Wednesday. In case of the government being voted out, it will have a fortnight to invert the result or face a national election. That said, May seems likely to survive the vote if she has the support of her own party.
While the situation is no less volatile that it has been, the timelines have changed and the decision-makers are now pressed for time because if no withdrawal agreement is settled upon before March 29, the United Kingdom will exit the European Union without a deal. This would be a huge setback for not just the UK and the EU but multiple indirect stakeholder countries as well. With European Union laws and customs and the free movement of people, goods and services within the region ceasing overnight, it would have repercussions for every single individual depending on the region for jobs, sustenance, opportunities and even education.
If Brexit does go through without a “fix-it” for the situation, many more lives than the obvious numbers will be affected either directly or indirectly. Companies have already been downsizing and slashing jobs to the thousands – that seems to be a trend that might continue. The HR needs to be prepared with a strategy that goes beyond cutting jobs. How will organizations adapt to a talent landscape that might also change overnight?