UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit strategy is in tatters, his ruling Conservative party is disintegrating and he's clinging on to power by a thread.
On Wednesday, members of Parliament are set to push their showdown with the premier over Britain's divorce from the European Union to its climax.
After seizing control over the parliamentary agenda, Johnson's critics will aim to pass a law banning him from taking Britain out of the bloc without a deal on October 31. He has said he'll retaliate by pushing for a snap general election.
MPs are debating a new law to block a no-deal split from the EU, an interim vote passed by 329 to 300.
Germany and Ireland say Brexit a delay is possible.
The pound held gains after UK lawmakers took another step toward blocking the government from pursuing a no-deal Brexit.
Sterling rose to the day's high of $1.2230 as lawmakers voted to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay Brexit by three months.
Investors will now turn their attention to another vote on whether to hold a general election, which would need the backing of two-thirds of Parliament. The prime minister proposed early elections on October 15.