Brexiteers within Parliament would like to keep any delay as short as possible as they fear Brexit will end up being cancelled. The EU, meanwhile, is anxious that continuing uncertainty over Brexit will impact its European Parliament elections being held in May — which the U.K. was not supposed to be a part of.
Opposition MPs have tabled amendments (basically, suggestions for alternative courses of action) to the government's motion on Thursday and these will also be voted upon — but again, these are not legally binding but just show how much support an alternative course of action has among lawmakers.
Amendments to be voted on include delaying Brexit in order to hold a second referendum and, if that motion is not passed, another amendment allowing Parliament to debate Brexit's next steps next week.
Sterling surged on Wednesday, hitting nine-month highs against the dollar, but lost some of those gains on Thursday. By 1:30 p.m. London time the pound was trading at $1.3232.