Jeremy Corbyn plans second referendum push only after MPs pass Brexit deal

Britain's Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington is seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London

At a special political Cabinet meeting shortly before the votes, the Prime Minister is understood to have berated four ministers for defying the whip by abstaining the previous night when MPs voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

On Thursday, MPs voted to ask the European Union to delay Brexit beyond the current 29 March departure date.

The Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which May depends on for a majority in parliament, said it is in talks with the government, which is trying to convince its lawmakers to support the prime minister.

It should be noted that the votes are not legally binding and a no-deal Brexit on March 29 is still a possibilty unless the two sides reach a deal.

All 10 of Mrs May's DUP allies opposed the delay.

Only a refusal by the leaders of the 27 remaining European Union states to grant the United Kingdom an extension at a Brussels summit next week could now preserve March 29 as Brexit day.

Unless an agreement is made, Britain is still at legal default to depart from the bloc on March 29.

If this does not happen, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit looms large.

HuffPost UK understands all of the frontbenchers, who all represent strongly pro-Leave constituencies, were told to quit after they were warned they faced the sack for going against the party line. But the failure of everyone else to come up with anything close to an alternative plan means that her deal remains the most likely outcome.

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Professor Iain Begg, of the European Institute and co-director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "EU agreement is likely, but the EU side will want reassurance that the extension is for a goal, not just to permit further procrastination by the UK".

While MPs at Westminster remain unclear as to what sort of Brexit they favour, there is little doubt about what they don't want.

The prime minister is accepting she will miss one of the biggest targets she has ever set herself.

If the deal is rejected by MPs again, Mrs May has warned that the EU is likely to only accept a longer delay, which would mean the United Kingdom would need to send new MEPs back to the European Parliament.

On Thursday, eight members of the cabinet - including the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay and leader of the house Andrea Leadsom - voted against Mrs May's ultimately successful motion to extend article 50.

Still, Mrs May has an arduous task ahead.

Labour backbenchers Phil Wilson and Peter Kyle are drumming up support for a separate amendment, yet to be tabled, which asks MPs to back the government's Brexit deal on the condition there is a "confirmatory" referendum.

Professor Marc Stears, director of the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney and former chief speechwriter to Britain's Labour Party, said: "Mrs May's position ought to be very weak".

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