The UK Parliament forced Theresa May to reject the option of leaving the European Union without a deal in any circumstances, in a motion that was worded more strongly than she had proposed. They may later vote on whether to ask the European Union for an extension of the current Brexit deadline, which is now set for March 29. That raises the prospect of huge delays at ports, food shortages in supermarkets, and a rise in long-simmering tensions in Northern Ireland.
But MPs rejected it in January by a massive 432 votes to 202, with many of May's Conservatives rebelling against her.
Parliament is expected to vote against leaving the bloc without a deal - although it remains the default option unless an alternative can be secured by the fast approaching March 29 Brexit date.
In coordinated statements, European Council President Donald Tusk and the bloc's executive European Commission said the EU had done "all that is possible to reach an agreement.it is hard to see what more we can do". Nigel Dodds, a DUP MP, told the House of Commons that despite the revisions, "the fact is that Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom could be trapped" in the backstop. It is unclear how such a short extension could solve the Brexit impasse in London.
Tabled by the Welsh nationalist party's four MPs, this would require the Government to extend Article 50 negotiations to 2021 and hold a referendum at the end of that period on leaving with a deal or remaining in the EU.
A defiant Mrs May who is battling a bad sore throat and has nearly lost her voice, told parliament: "I may not have my own voice, but I do understand the voice of the country". Lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected it for a second time on Tuesday, furious about a contentious guarantee, known as the Irish backstop.
Mrs May has angered pro-Brexit members of her party by backing the delay with some telling The Sun a split in the party could not be avoided.
Several European politicians and ministers have openly called for a new vote on Brexit, hoping that the decision made by British voters in 2016 can be reversed.
But Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, said Brussels had done "everything it can" and must now brace for the possibility of a messy divorce. "It is UK's responsibility to tell us what they want for our future relations".
But Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who provides the government with independent legal advice, said the risk in the most contentious points of the 585-page withdrawal deal agreed with the European Union "remains unchanged". It will be a priority even before the question of an extension. "The discussion on Article 50 is done and dusted".
The EU noted that Wednesday's vote had no legal effect.
Barclay said it is time for MPs to decide what they "are for" after the House of Commons rejected the revised deal by 391 to 242 votes.
"The deal the Prime Minister has put forward is clearly dead and does not have the support of this house. The EU is prepared for both".
May's trip to Strasbourg caused concern among some MPs, who had complained they may not have enough time to scrutinize what May agreed before being asked to vote. May indicated as much at the House of Commons on Wednesday. Parliament could also consider a second national referendum, effectively asking Britons again if they want to leave the 28-member group.
Business leaders welcomed the outcome of the vote in the Commons but urged the government to take action.