May told the House of Commons - in an oft-repeated mantra - that passing an EU withdrawal agreement quickly would allow Britain to avoid taking part in European parliamentary elections set for late May, an unpalatable prospect to many Conservatives.
And in response to a question of what May will do she faced a confidence motion in Parliament, she replied: "I will continue to argue for the Conservative Party remaining in government".
The contingency operations have impacted almost all departments in the civil service and elsewhere in the public sector including traffic, hospitals and schools.
"On October 31 the British will either have agreed to a deal, have chose to cancel Brexit or leave without a deal".
"Vitally, the EU has agreed that the extension can be terminated when the Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified - which was my key request of my fellow leaders", May said in a statement in the early hours of Thursday at the end of a European Council summit.
However senior Tories warned the pressure on her to go would "increase dramatically" amid frustration among MPs that there is still no certainty as to when Britain will leave. Last month, European Union leaders gave Britain until Friday to approve a withdrawal plan, change course and seek a further delay to Brexit, or crash out of the European Union with no deal to cushion the shock.
"We did the best possible compromise to maintain the unity of their 27 (other European Union members) since we have abandoned the United Kingdom longer to deliver a deal", Macron explained.
"Pressed on the kind of expansion Germany backs", Merkel replied:"I favor, if there is a broad majority for this today, maybe making it a delay of many months - although not regretting anything, so once Britain has decided the withdrawal can occur immediately".
"She has said that" as prime minister" that she could not consent to allow Britain stay in the European Union past June 30, and she's also promised to step down after Brexit is delivered. "France wants a" clean and credible potential" in Britain and commitments to not endanger the European Union institutions", she explained.
He said that the ball was now in London's court, but the withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, earlier rejected by the British parliament three times, can not be renegotiated.
But with nearly no clarity on when, how or even if Brexit will happen, conviction bets on sterling rising or falling sharply remain few and far between and the currency remains stuck just below $1.31.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, said in his text that he would now be meeting British Prime Minister Theresa May to secure her agreement.
The pound against the USA dollar (GBPUSD=X) climbed following the United Kingdom and European Union agreeing to delay Brexit until 31 October this year. Some European leaders favoured a longer extension, but French President Emmanuel Macron was wary of anything more than a very short delay.
Every initiative has floundered so far. The two sides said Thursday they would resume their talks.
Senior British sources indicated that the PM meant to stand by her promise to the Tory 1922 Committee of backbenchers to stand down once the first phase of Brexit negotiations are complete. Labour favors a Brexit that is softer than the government wishes to retain a close financial relationship with the bloc, and has suggested.
That would leave the door open for a second referendum.
"The choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear.
Labour lawmaker Mary Creagh tweeted that Parliament should move swiftly to break the Brexit deadlock using a confirmatory ballot on PMs deal".
"It does not need to leave with no deal; in the moment it does not need to vote for your offer".