The British pound trimmed some of the losses it suffered during volatile trading on Tuesday after UK lawmakers voted down the latest version of Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal on Brexit.
The overwhelming defeat raises the chances that Britain will crash out of the European Union without a deal — doing big damage to the economy — or that Brexit will be delayed, prolonging the uncertainty for business.
Investors appeared to be betting that a delay is most likely. The vote lifted the pound, but the currency failed to erase losses suffered earlier on Tuesday. It was trading down 0.7% at $1.31.
Speaking to lawmakers just minutes after the vote, May said the default scenario is leaving the European Union without a deal on March 29.
But she said that parliament would have a chance Wednesday to rule out leaving the European Union without a deal. If that happens, lawmakers would vote Thursday on whether to request a delay from the bloc.