UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who is facing a vote of confidence in her leadership later on Wednesday, has stated that she will “contest that vote with everything I have got.”
Mrs May said a new prime minister would have to scrap or extend Article 50 - the mechanism taking Britain out of the EU on 29 March - "delaying or even stopping Brexit.”
Mrs May became prime minister shortly after the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, but has been harshly criticised by her own party for the Brexit deal she negotiated.
She needs to get a majority in her favour in the no confidence vote in order to win it, and if that happens, she cannot be challenged for at least another year.
However, if she doesn’t, she will step down as prime minister and party leader, triggering another contest to find out who will be Britain’s next prime minister.
She would then be expected to stay on as a caretaker prime minister until a new leader is selected by the party, a process that could take six weeks.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Justice Secretary David Gauke said a new leader would not be in place until late January or February, and the EU would have to give Britain more time to negotiate Brexit.
"If she loses tonight whoever is prime minister will have to delay Article 50. I cannot see how we can possibly leave on 29 March."
Mrs May held talks with other EU leaders on Tuesday, who say the deal cannot be renegotiated.