The Brexit process has grown increasingly surreal since Parliament rejected May's divorce deal two weeks ago, leaving Britain lurching toward a cliff-edge "no-deal" departure from the bloc on March 29.
Trying to break the Brexit deadlock, May got Parliament's backing for a bid to change an Irish border guarantee in the withdrawal deal - a provision May and the European Union both approved, and which the bloc insists can not be changed.
Members of Parliament, frustrated by the inability of the Prime Minister to win approval for her withdrawal agreement, were ready to debate and vote on cross-party amendments created to steer the Government one way or another on Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May made a plea to MPs to give her a "mandate" to reopen negotiations with Brussels by backing a proposal from Tory grandee Sir Graham Brady, which calls for the controversial backstop to be replaced by "alternative arrangements" to keep the Irish border open after Brexit.
The amendment would make clear that the Commons wishes to leave the European Union with a deal, confirms the commitment to avoiding border checks and "gives us scope for a new discussion with the European Union about how best we achieve that", said May's spokesman.
Aside from Brady's proposal, the other key amendment expected to garner a large amount of support, possibly enough to be approved by Parliament, is one put forward by opposition Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper.
Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29.
Moreover, Cooper's amendment would not identify a consensus among MPs to halt a no-deal Brexit. "Today we need to send an emphatic message about what we do want", May added. Parliament has expressed a desire to stop no-deal - but I am concerned that without legislation in place its probability has increased.
Lawmakers have proposed more than 10 different amendments to be debated on Tuesday, but only a small number likely will be chosen to be voted on, starting at approximately 2 p.m. ET.
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow will announce Tuesday which amendments have been selected for debate and vote.
Appealing for MPs to back her amendment, Cooper had said it offered a "safety net" against no-deal.
The issue? The EU says it already negotiated a deal, and won't do so again.
On the eve of parliament's vote on unlocking the Brexit impasse, 10 food chiefs plus industry body the British Retail Consortium (BRC) called on MPs to work "urgently to find a solution that avoids the shock of a no-deal Brexit on March 29 and removes. risks for United Kingdom consumers".
Their plan involved a "recasting" of the Northern Ireland backstop as "free trade agreement-lite" with a commitment on all sides there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland and an extended transition period to December 2021.
Britain is reportedly making plans to declare a "state of emergency" and introduce martial law in the event of disorder breaking out following a No Deal Brexit.
We both agreed, United Kingdom and European Union, we don't want a hard border in Ireland. That the European Union is now preparing for this eventuality comes just months after it was revealed the British government had already put aside hundreds of thousands of pounds to pay for the 2019 elections that legally weren't even meant to happen.
She has now backed calls for the Irish backstop, which ensures no return to a hard border, be dumped in favour of undefined "alternative arrangements".
As MPs prepared for a crucial series of Commons votes which could shape the next phase of talks with the EU, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox indicated Mrs May was ready to reopen the Agreement in order to secure a legally-binding text.