Britain's parliament is poised for another feverish week after MPs on Saturday stopped Prime Minister Boris Johnson putting forward a "meaningful vote" on his Brexit deal until he publishes it as a bill.
Another momentous week in the tortuous saga could end with Johnson engineering a divorce from Brussels that breaks numerous island nation's economic relations with Europe after 46 years.
With the Brexit deadline looming and British politicians still squabbling over the country's departure terms, Johnson has been forced to ask the European Union for a three-month delay to Britain's departure date.
The manoeuvre is created to minimise the political damage of Johnson going back on his word and seeking an extension ahead of an early general election most expect in the coming months.
"The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, saying he believes a delay would be a mistake".More news: 'Maleficent' sequel scares up box-office lead in North America
But European Parliament's chief Brexit official, Guy Verhofstadt, said last week MEPs will only start their work once the UK Parliament has passed a fully binding Brexit deal, and if that slips past the European plenary session this week, it may have to be picked up in the session that begins on November 13.
Mr Johnson is adamant he now has a majority in Parliament in favour of his deal and will try to put it before the Commons later today (Monday).
The step was created to cut off the possibility of Johnon following through on his repeated threat to take Britain out at any cost at the end of the month.
But he faces a number of hurdles to holding a straight vote on the pact, with Speaker John Bercow widely expected to rule the PM can not bring back the same question it asked MPs to consider on Saturday, when they scuppered his plans by instead ordering him to seek a fresh delay from the European Union.
Monday's Commons showdown comes after MPs used a special Saturday sitting of Parliament to effectively kill off the Government's attempts to hold a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit agreement.
Senior cabinet minister Michael Gove, the government's Brexit planning chief, was nonetheless adamant that Britain would leave the European Union on schedule.More news: Google Pixel 4 will unlock even when your eyes are closed
But the deck against Johnson seems stacked.
'The Government's response was to cancel Saturday's vote on the deal, with it expected to be brought back before MPs during the week.
Johnson and his supporters say this would kill the point of Brexit by keeping Britain tied to Europe and unable to strike its own trade deals with powers such as China and the United States.
Johnson has ruled out a customs union and, on Monday, a lawmaker from the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which has propped up the government, said it would not support such a proposal. That request comes two days after lawmakers voted to delay approving the Brexit deal.
A customs union would avoid that.
The Labour Party has pledged to present an amendment to the Prime Minister's deal that could force him to attach the promise of a confirmatory referendum to the deal.More news: NWS: 'Possible' tornado hits Dallas area
The EU, which has grappled with the tortuous Brexit crisis since Britons voted 52%-48% to leave in a 2016 referendum, decided on Sunday to play for time rather than rush to decide on Johnson's request.