On Tuesday, 26 February, the British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would offer MPs the chance to vote for either a no-deal Brexit or a delay to the UK departing the EU.
Her statement came as three Remainer ministers in her Cabinet, including former Home Secretary Amber Rudd, threatened to revolt.
She has said there will be a meaningful vote on her Brexit deal by 12 March.
Mrs May has committed that if her deal fails then there would be a vote on 13 March on whether to leave without a deal and if that is rejected then there would be a vote on 14 March on extending Article 50.
"We will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in the House for that outcome", Mrs. May told MPs.
She said she did not want to see Article 50 extended, because she believed "it would not make getting a deal any easier."
Labour Had Just Shifted its Position
It comes after the opposition Labour Party shifted their position on Monday and pledged to hold a second referendum rather than approve a no-deal Brexit.
The Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would attempt to get its own Brexit proposals through Parliament on Wednesday, 27 February.
He said if that failed the party would back another referendum.
May set out new Brexit sequencing:— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) 26 February 2019
vote on her deal Tues Mar12
vote on no-deal Weds Mar13
vote on 'short' delay Thur Mar14
Gonna be a helluva week.
"We specifically agreed yesterday, as the Labour Party, that if the prime minister's deal gets through, that deal should be subject to the lock, if you like, of a public vote in the way that Jeremy (Corbyn) spelled out yesterday," Starmer told the BBC on Tuesday morning.
Around 30 Labour MPs in constituencies which voted strongly in favour of Brexit are believed to be opposed to holding a second referendum. They include Caroline Flint, a former minister under Gordon Brown.
"We can't ignore millions of Labour 'leave' voters," Flint said on Tuesday.
Only hours after Labour came up with their new policy, Mrs. May outmanouevred them by offering the votes next month.
Oh my days the PM just said her latest Brexit update is… 'simples'— Kate Proctor (@KateProctorES) 26 February 2019
But she did not do so from a position of strength.
Theresa May's Hand Forced by Remainer Rebels
Her hand is believed to have been forced by Cabinet ministers Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark, who wrote a joint article in the Daily Mail saying they were in favour of extending Article 50.
"Let me be clear, I do not want to see Article 50 extended. Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on 29 March. An extension beyond the end of June would mean the UK taking part in the European Parliament elections. What kind of message would that send to the more than 17 million people who voted to leave the EU nearly three years ago now? And the House should be clear that a short extension — not beyond the end of June — would almost certainly have to be a one-off," Mrs May told Parliament.
CBI sets out the damage to each region from No Deal. Shows how irresponsible it would be for Government to let it happen, and how important it is for Parliament to vote for our Bill this week #NotoNoDeal @CBItweets https://t.co/hEh6N2knev— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) 25 February 2019
"We will hold a second meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March at the latest. Second, if the government has not won a meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March, then it will…table a motion to be voted on by Wednesday 13 March at the latest, asking this House if it supports leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for a future relationship on 29 March," said Mrs. May.
There were glum looks on the faces of supporters of a hard Brexit, such as Bill Cash, the 78-year-old Conservative MP for Stone in Staffordshire.
If Mrs. May were to lose her meaningful vote on 12 March then it would be up to the Prime Minister to decide whether to tell Conservative MPs which way to vote on no-deal Brexit and, if it comes to it on extending Article 50, or she may decide to give a free vote.