British Prime Minister Theresa May has promised U.K. lawmakers a vote on delaying the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, if her Brexit divorce agreement is rejected again next month.
May made a statement to MPs Tuesday afternoon, saying they will be given a chance to vote on a no-deal Brexit or delaying the U.K.'s departure. These votes will only come if they reject her withdrawal deal at a vote on March 12.
It means the U.K. will only leave the EU on March 29 without a deal if lawmakers vote for that option. It therefore reduces the possibility of the U.K. crashing out of the bloc, but does introduce a new layer of uncertainty and complexity into the proceedings.
Earlier on Tuesday, May held a meeting with her cabinet following media reports that she was "ready to rule out" a no-deal departure from the EU on March 29.
British newspaper The Daily Mail reported early Tuesday that "a group of 23 dissidents met secretly at the (House of) Commons last night to discuss how to stop Britain leaving the EU without an agreement on March 29, with as many as 15 said to be ready to resign."
Three of the ministers cited by the newspaper said they are prepared to back a move by MPs – in key parliamentary votes on Brexit on Wednesday – to force the prime minister to seek a delay to the U.K.'s departure if her parliament has not approved a deal by March 13 - a day after parliament is due to have a "meaningful vote" on whether or not to approve May's Brexit deal.