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The possibility of a no-deal Brexit would be "negative", "undesirable" and "catastrophic", but "cannot be ruled out". That's the view of the Spanish government after today's defeat of prime minister May's proposal in the House of Commons by 432 votes to 202. Cabinet sources note they have been preparing for months in case this should happen.

"The Spanish government has been preparing its contingency plan for months in case of a no-deal Brexit", sources say, "the government will continue working in this vein, by approving a royal legislative decree of contingency measures".

Despite this evening's vote, the Spanish cabinet still hopes the British Parliament will approve "the text which has been under negotiation for a year and a half and enjoys the approval of the British government". They argue that "the pact is the best possible", because it protects rights on both sides and "contains a balance of concessions which is difficult to attain". Going back to the drawing board, they warn, "would lead to a dangerous scenario".

Finally, they add that their priority "at all times" are the rights of Spanish citizens in the UK and British citizens resident in Spain.

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