Amid the uncertainty, some members of Parliament from both government and opposition parties are exploring ways to use parliamentary procedures to wrest control of the Brexit process away from the government, so that lawmakers by majority vote could specify a new plan for Britain's European Union exit.
The Prime Minister's deal was rejected by 432 votes to 202, with 118 Conservative MPs rebels including the Scottish Tories John Lamont, Douglas Ross and Ross Thomson.
"People understandably feel they have had enough of Brexit but if the deal goes through, we will be talking about it for years".
'I would certainly vote for her and the conservative government tomorrow because the one thing I do not want is Jeremy Corbyn taking over as prime minister'.
Matt Griffith, director of policy at Business West, said: "No deal does appear worryingly likely, or at least a plausible outcome".
So we are left with the government in paralysis. Once you've made decisions, it's hard to reverse those.
Few expect the deal to pass, but the scale of Prime Minister Theresa May's defeat could determine whether she tries again, loses office, delays Brexit - or if Britain even leaves the European Union at all.
She warned the result would only provide more uncertainty, and "tells us nothing" about what a majority of MPs actually support.More news: Rihanna Sues Her Father, Ronald Fenty, for Exploiting Her Name
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But he said it remained to be seen what could get through the Commons, and urged all parties to consider the way forward without "political point-scoring".
EU Council President Donald Tusk appeared to suggest the United Kingdom abandons Brexit, tweeting after last night's result: "If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?"
The pound (GBPUSD=X) was down by more than 1% against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday immediately after the vote, but then shot back up to trade above $1.28.
The prime minister was hit with one of the heaviest parliamentary defeats in history, despite last minute appeals for backing and a five-week delay on the vote.
The PM said: "The House has spoken and the Government will listen". With the clock ticking rapidly towards 29 March, Theresa May's Brexit has been defeated - and in devastating style.
The government and opposition parties ordered lawmakers to cancel all other plans to be on hand for the crucial vote.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said parliamentarians "hold the future of the British automotive industry - and the hundreds and thousands of jobs it supports - in their hands".
Corbyn said the confidence vote would allow the Commons to "give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government". It reduces the damage caused by Brexit for citizens and businesses across Europe.