A ‘HARD’ Brexit looms after the United Kingdom’s House of Commons voted to reject the latest deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and leaders of the European Union.

The deal was defeated 242 votes to 391, with rebel Tories and Democratic Unionists joining Labour to vote in the negative.

Melbourne trade lawyer and partner with Rigby Cooke Lawyers Andrew Hudson warned a hard Brexit “could paralyse the movement of goods”.

Mr Hudson said there was still the possibility of compromise allowing an amended exit agreement to proceed.

He said several other options remained including agreement for more time to negotiate an exit while launching a new referendum in the UK.

“However time seems against those outcomes as does the apparent reluctance of parties to negotiate further,” Mr Hudson said.

“That brings the UK even closer to a hard Brexit with no exit agreement and no backstop on the Irish border. That could paralyse the movement of goods, people and investment between the EU and the UK.”

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Mr Hudson said companies relying on the EU to UK corridor for business operations should be “urgently consulting” material published by the UK government on how to handle a hard Brexit.

“Even if some other deal is negotiated, such efforts will still be worthwhile to facilitate trade during the confusion which continues,” he said. Mrs May’s earlier withdrawal agreement deal was put to the House in January and was voted down by 230 votes.

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