Following the defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal for the third time, the European Commission has said that a no-deal Brexit is now 'a likely scenario'.
The Commission said in a statement that it regrets the vote and said: "The EU has been preparing for this since December 2017 and is now fully prepared for a 'no-deal' scenario at midnight on 12 April.”
The UK has until the referenced date to indicate the way forward, following the EU's decision last week to extend Article 50.
May has failed to push through her deal for the third time, with 344 votes for the deal and 286 against, resulting in a 58 vote majority against.
The vote was narrower than May's previous attempts in January and March, which saw defeats of 240 votes and 149 votes respectively.
The pound dropped sharply following the vote, falling below the $1.30 mark to $1.299 for the first time in two weeks before rebounding back to $1.303.
With May's deal struck down again by MPs, and the threat of a no-deal Brexit edging closer, the EU warned:
“The benefits of the withdrawal agreement, including a transition period, will in no circumstances be replicated in a 'no-deal' scenario. Sectoral mini-deals are not an option.”
While the threat of the UK crashing out of the EU looms over Westminster, Brexiters have gathered in London in for a pro-Brexit rally led by Ukip leader Gerard Batten and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. The protests fall on the day that the UK was originally meant to leave the UK.
In the wake of May's defeat, EU Council president Donald Tusk has announced an EU Council meeting for 10 April, just two days before the UK would have to present a plan for leaving the EU.