BUSINESS leaders say they are lost for words after parliament's rejection of Theresa May's Brexit deal on Tuesday night.

The withdrawal agreement was rejected by more than 420 MPs in the House of Commons in the much-anticipated meaningful vote.

The failure to pass the deal through parliament has prolonged the political deadlock many business leaders have grown frustrated with and has dashed hopes of an end to the uncertainty businesses continue to face about trading conditions after March 29.

Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, which supports thousands small and medium enterprises across the South West and Swindon, said: "There are no more words to describe the frustration, impatience, and growing anger amongst business after two and a half years on a high-stakes political rollercoaster ride that shows no sign of stopping.

"Every second that ticks by sees more businesses spending money on unwanted changes, activating contingency plans or battening down the hatches and halting investment, as they try to anticipate a future that is no clearer now than it was at the time of the referendum result.

“Businesses will take a dim view of more shuttle diplomacy and last-minute bargaining, which have so far done nothing to end the political impasse.

He added: "The government must now urgently set out in concrete terms what it will do to avoid the damage that a messy and disorderly exit on March 29th would cause to businesses, communities, and the UK economy.”