Before Parliament’s meaningful vote
Before Parliament voted on the government’s Brexit deal, Prime Minister Theresa May had told Parliament that her deal is the best one that could be negotiated with the European Union and that the UK runs a risk of a no-deal Brexit should her deal be voted down.
This line of argument was used as a leverage to convince Parliament to vote for her deal.
“We can choose to leave with no deal, we can risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated.”
After Parliament’s meaningful vote
After the Parliament rejected the government’s Brexit deal and as there’s no alternative deal on hand, it takes time to consider the next steps or to negotiate a new deal with the EU. However, time is running out as UK has only slightly more than 2 months before exiting the EU, probably not enough time to negotiate a new deal without extending Article 50.
Since there aren’t any alternative deals at the moment and the UK hasn’t even started new negotiations with the EU, the UK will exit the EU on March 29th by default. As successful negotiations with the EU aren’t guaranteed, the government is possibly keeping all options on the table and not making any promises in ruling out a no-deal Brexit, unless the government is confident that they can negotiate another deal with the EU.
Tory peer Lord Finkelstein summed this up on BBC News:
“She doesn’t want no deal, because she has advanced a deal, she wants a deal.”
“But, she can’t announce there is going to be no, no deal, how does she know?”
“I want no deal not to happen. But, she can’t take it off the table because if we don’t have a deal there will be no deal.”