Prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been thrown out by MPs for a third time, creating further political uncertainty for UK businesses.
The withdrawal agreement was defeated by 344 to 286 – a majority of 58.
If MPs had agreed to the withdrawal agreement, the UK would have been able to leave the European Union on 22 May with a deal.
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Now, there will either be a long delay or a no-deal Brexit on 12 April.
May has until 12 April to seek a longer extension to the negotiation process.
Helen Dickinson, chief of executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Businesses are paying the price of the political uncertainty.
“It is imperative for both businesses and households that we avoid leaving the EU without a deal. A no-deal Brexit would mean higher prices and less choice on the shelves. Parliamentarians must come together to find a mechanism to take no deal off the table completely.
“There are still options open to MPs and they must get behind one of them. The country needs certainty and a legal guarantee against the chaos that will inevitably result from no deal.
“Businesses are paying the price of the political uncertainty. Time and money is being spent, irrecoverably, preparing for a no-deal scenario that most people, businesses and politicians do not want to see.”