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The European Union said it was horrified by the massive scale of the U.K. Parliament defeat of the Brexit deal agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May but said there was no option to renegotiate.

The British government and European Union leaders say their agreement is the best compromise available, and despite her historic defeat, May said Tuesday it remained the only option.

British lawmakers are preparing to deliver their verdict on Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union after two years of political upheaval.

Britain will leave the European Union on 29 March and that the bloc would only extend "Article 50" negotiations with a credible alternative Brexit plan B, United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May said at PMQs on Wednesday.

Sterling was changing hands at $1.2848, slightly below $1.2860 seen late Tuesday in NY.

Tuesday's vote in the UK's House of Commons was supposed to finally provide some clarity on Brexit. Giving her reaction afterwards, she was barely able to contain her frustration.

Media captionTheresa May beats off a challenge from Jeremy Corbyn to bring down her government by 325 to 306 votes. If everyone on her side does turn out, her margin of safety is just 13 votes. Nothing about Tuesday's vote has altered that trajectory. Her Conservative party does not want a Corbyn government. That would leave Mrs May tied for fifth place with Margaret Thatcher, 72 of whose MPs revolted against her plan to abolish Sunday-trading laws in 1986. A loss like that would finish off a prime minister in normal times.

The mood in Parliament afterwards was surprisingly upbeat.

"Regrettably, the outcome of tonight's vote increases the risk of a disorderly Brexit", it said. They were denied their moment in December, when May pulled the vote.

May has said cancelling Brexit is likelier than leaving with no deal, but has repeatedly described any failure to carry out the mandate of the 2016 referendum as "catastrophic" for democracy.

Brexit supporters anticipate some short-term economic pain but say Britain will then thrive if cut loose from what they cast as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity.

Mr Boles told Sky News: 'We need to rule out a no deal Brexit.

Rudd said: "I look forward to making the case for her".

May has three days to outline her response to the rejected withdrawal agreement.

Thus far, the European Union has remained in wait-and-see mode as politics unfold in London.

However, many Labour members want to see another referendum with an option to cancel Brexit, and the party says it is ruling nothing out if it fails to bring May down.

Some in May's Conservatives back a no-deal Brexit, and urged her to take that route.

Political analyst Anand Menon, from United Kingdom in a Changing Europe, said history is being made week after week in the Brexit saga, with government being held in contempt even as May soldiers on in Downing Street.

Despite the reprieve, Ms May faces a monumental struggle to find a way out of her country's Brexit impasse.

Though it could trigger a general election, it was widely expected not to get through on Wednesday night as Tory rebels and the DUP had vowed to support May.

May should "do the right thing and resign", he said. Some have pushed for a second referendum at the same time.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox earlier told MPs that the Brexit deal "will have to return in much the same form and with much the same content".

May's only way of getting some type of Brexit deal through is with the help of Labour MPs to counter the hardline Brexiteers.

May's government is likewise split.

May held a meeting of the cabinet before the Brexit debate resumed in the House of Commons in the afternoon.

So the biggest result of this devastating defeat for May appears to be more uncertainty and anxiety, only 10 weeks ahead of Britain's scheduled withdrawal from the EU. "It is very important to respect that vote, to respect the democratic will of the British people", he said on FOX Business' "After the Bell" on Tuesday.