In another nail-biting vote in the U.K.'s Parliament, lawmakers voted by a majority of just one to force Prime Minister Theresa May to seek an extension to the Brexit process and avoid a no-deal departure.
Members of Parliament (MPs) voted for the draft legislation on Wednesday evening to prevent a shock no-deal exit on April 12 (the date of a new deadline granted by the EU) by 313 votes to 312. The bill will need to be approved by the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, to become law.
Despite last night's vote in favor of a delay to Brexit, it's far from certain that the EU will grant the U.K. an extension when European leaders meet next Wednesday, April 10, at an emergency summit dedicated to Brexit.
The U.K. was originally meant to leave the EU on March 29 but granted more time by the EU. Ahead of the U.K. Parliament's vote last night, the European Commission President Jean-Claude reiterated that April 12 was the final date for the approval of the Brexit deal and that no short extension would be possible.
MPs have rejected May's Brexit deal three times now, and a selection of alternative Brexit options have also failed to win a majority of support.
May's talks with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn Wednesday also failed to reach any compromise or consensus. Whatever happens next, experts expect a longer delay to Brexit and more political and economic uncertainty.
"As an American watching this from afar, we thought this would be done by now and I think what we're increasingly coming to terms with is that no matter what agreement is agreed right now, this is going to be a long-term process because Britain is divided," Christopher Smart, head of macroeconomic and geopolitical research at Barings, told CNBC Thursday.