Boris Johnson will push for a general election if the EU agrees to delay Brexit until January, No 10 has said.
On Tuesday, a majority of MPs signaled their support for the agreement that Johnson reached with the other 27 EU nations last week. However, in a follow up vote just 15 minutes afterwards, they refused to rush through the necessary legislation to leave the EU in three working days.
Johnson was forced by law to send a letter the EU requesting a three-month extension but he insists the UK will still leave at the end of October.
He said it was "joyful" that MPs had finally "embraced" a Brexit deal. But he added: "I must express my regret that the House has again voted for delay. We now face further uncertainty.
"The first consequence is that the government must take the only responsible course and accelerate our preparations for a no-deal outcome.
"Secondly, I will speak to EU member states about their intentions until they have reached a decision. Until they've reached a decision we will pause this legislation.
"Let me be clear - our policy remains that we should not delay, that we should leave the EU on October 31. And that is what I will say to the EU and I will report back to the house.
"One way or another we will leave the EU with this deal to which the House has just given its assent."
Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar has confirmed he supports the proposal to grant the UK's request for a three month extension. He spoke to the European council president Donald Tusk and they "noted" that an extension to the end of January would not prohibit an earlier departure from the bloc. The issue will be discussed at a key meeting in Brussels later this Wednesday.
The UK is now in a holding pattern with Johnson pausing his Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which could still be scrapped altogether. This significantly reduces the chances that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, as the prime minister had vowed.
DeVere Group's Nigel Green warns that the country is heading for what is in essence a second Brexit referendum and urged investors to take action now if they want to protect their money.
"The 27 EU member states are meeting to discuss another extension, which could be granted by Friday. They are likely to push back the deadline to January on the advice of Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council.
"Mr Johnson will then call for a general election. With this extension in place, the Labour Party will support a snap election, making it happen.
"The electorate is extremely volatile and there's never been a more uncertain general election. Small shifts will move the needle considerably."
He continues: "With an uncertain UK general election inevitably on the way, if you're serious about protecting your money and assets you need to take action now.
"There are two key reasons why you should election-proof your finances.
"First, Labour leader and leftist firebrand Jeremy Corbyn might become the UK's next Prime Minister.
"His anti-business, low-profit, high-tax policies - including a possible wealth tax - can be expected to spook the financial markets, damage long-term sustainable growth of the British economy, put more pressure on UK financial assets, and lead to a significant sell-off of the pound.
"Second, the election could result in a hung parliament, meaning more of the same indefinite uncertainty, deliberation and chaos. Boris Johnson might be returned as PM but without a majority.
"The Brexit Party could eat into the Conservative vote as they will claim Mr Johnson did not deliver Brexit by October 31- something on which he staked his whole premiership.
"Similarly, the Remain vote could be split between Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens and the SNP."
He adds: "With both of these general election outcomes, the current unprecedented uncertainty would continue and/or intensify, further undermining confidence in the UK economy and the pound."
Earlier this week, Mr Green noted: "Wealth, jobs and opportunity-generating businesses - both in the UK and internationally- are crying out for certainty.
"Brexit uncertainty is seriously denting business investment and confidence in the UK - and the fallout of this has cost Britain three and a half years of lost opportunity and many tens of billions of pounds.
"It could take a decade or so to recover, even if that recovery of certainty starts now.
"Britain is losing its edge in a competitive global economy with the Brexit deadlock and politicking. It is likely to underperform against peers for many years to come."
The deVere founder and CEO concludes: "For more than a year, people and companies have been making plans for a hard Brexit. But the looming general election is perhaps an even more concerning development.
"It is perhaps unsurprising that UK and international investors in UK assets are responding to the uncertainties posed by Brexit by reducing their exposure to the UK.
"The best way to position yourself to protect and build your wealth and assets is to be properly diversified across asset classes, sectors, currencies and regions."