Dec. 10 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday she postponed a key vote on her Brexit plan because it doesn't have the votes to pass the House of Commons.
Lawmakers were set to vote on May's proposal Tuesday, but it will now be delayed, May said Monday in a conference call with cabinet members.
"It is clear that while there is broad support for many of the key aspects of the deal, on one issue, the Northern Ireland backstop--there remains widespread and deep concern," May said in a press conference. "If we went ahead and held the vote [Tuesday] the deal would be rejected by a significant margin."
She called on lawmakers to compromise on a Brexit deal.
The delay came just hours after the European Union Court of Justice ruled Britain can unilaterally decide to hold a second referendum on the issue and scrap its plan to leave the 28-nation alliance.
The decision affirms a claim last week by an EU adviser who said Britain can still reverse its decision. The court said in its judgment Britain doesn't need approval from any EU member to change course.
"The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notifications of its intention to withdraw from the EU," the European Court of Justice said. "Such a revocation confirms the EU membership of the member state concerned under terms that are unchanged as regards its status as a member state and brings withdraw procedure to an end."
May has been trying to win over Conservative Party members to support her plan, but some aren't budging. Of the 100-plus lawmakers who oppose Brexit, few have shown signs they will change their vote and support May's plan.
Margaret Beckett, a prominent Labor Party supporter who's pushed for a second referendum, said Britain doesn't have to accept May's threat to leave with or without a deal.
"We now know beyond any doubt that we can stay in the EU -- it's not too late," Beckett said. "In the next few days, we can take Theresa May's deal off the table, too. ... There is no deal that can keep all the promises made two years ago, or is better than the deal we've got in the EU."
Environment minister Michael Gove supports Brexit and said Parliament should listen to the will of the voters to leave by March 29.
"We don't want to stay in the European Union," Gove said. "We voted very clearly -- 17.4 million people sent a clear message [in 2016] that they wanted to leave the European Union and that also means leaving the jurisdiction of the European court of justice."
Brexit has been divisive since the beginning, leaving scars similar to the divides seen in Northern Ireland.
"When the dust settles on Brexit, we must move forward in order that we can put some of the division about the nature of our country's relationship with the European Union behind us," Northern Ireland minister Karen Bradley said. "Northern Ireland in particular, knows the damage that division can do, and the benefits when that division can be overcome."
Taking a watered-down Brexit deal could cause civil unrest similar to the "yellow vest" protests in France, former work and pensions secretary Iaian Duncan Smith said.
"There's a very large chunk of people who would feel utterly betrayed and very angry and I just caution you, look across the Channel -- you know we're not that far away from that kind of process happening here," Smith told BBC Radio 5.
May hinted again at the possibility of leaving the EU with no deal in place.
"For as long as we fail to agree a deal, the risk of an accidental no deal increases," May said. "The vast majority of us, Mr. Speaker, accept the result of the referendum, and want to leave with a deal. We have a responsibility to discharge."