"But I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful". The scale of the early damage was unquantifiable, there was no immediate plan for how to rebuild, and nobody knew how unsafe the aftershocks would be.
The events played out in three stages.
A Labour amendment demanding an extension to Article 50 withdrawal negotiations to provide time to "find a majority for a different approach" was also defeated. If it is rejected she says Britain will need a longer extension, which could see Brexit postponed indefinitely.
May gave her MPs a free vote on the delay plan, but the sight of eight cabinet ministers, including global trade secretary Liam Fox, leader of the commons Andrea Leadsom and chief secretary to the treasury Liz Truss, all voting against the plan highlighted the splits at the very top of government.
The vote gives Prime Minister Theresa May some breathing space, but is still humbling for a leader who has spent two years telling Britons they were leaving the bloc on March 29.
Probably not, but there are several options.
So May will ask for a lengthy (perhaps a year or more) delay from the 27 European Union members, which must approve it unanimously, though that now seems likely.
But there are yet more possibilities.
Noting Thursday's votes in the British parliament to seek a delay in leaving the bloc, a spokesman for the European Commission said: "A request for an extension of Article 50 requires the unanimous agreement of all 27 member states".
When it comes to the question of a longer extension, the answers get messier.
Lawmaker Andrew Bridgen accused her of pursuing a "scorched earth" policy of destroying all other Brexit options to leave lawmakers with a choice between her deal and a long delay. How has she got this far?
DUP MP Gavin Robinson has said delaying Brexit for a prolonged period would be a "disaster". The Conservatives would then have to pick a new leader to replace her as prime minister. May calmed the most strident voices calling for her resignation when, in December, she pledged to step down before the next election, which is now scheduled for 2022.
The EU said there were two ways the United Kingdom could leave - with or without a deal, adding it was ready for either outcome.
It revealed that leader Jeremy Corbyn and senior aides have met with backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, who are promoting a plan to accept Mrs May's deal on the condition that it is subject to a second referendum.
MPs rejected Theresa May's Brexit deal for the second time on Tuesday after her insufficient attempt to gain legally binding reassurances from Brussels over the issue of the Irish backstop.
The amendment was rejected by MPs 85-334, a majority of 249.
Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said if the deal has not passed by the start of April, the government will then agree to the series indicative votes to decide what should happen next.