What does 12 March Brexit vote date tell us?
Laura Kuenssberg, BBC political editor
It's true that playing for time is a powerful, if cynical, political strategy and the Labour Party - and lots of Conservatives too - are annoyed that Downing Street seems to be dragging its feet like this and won't give MPs a formal thumbs up or thumbs down vote for more than another fortnight.
The prime minister naming the next vote day might do a little to calm the tempers of those in government who have been very publicly suggesting that strategy is madness. 12 March is at least, for them, before the next EU summit.
It is not, as these things go, the final, final, moment. Reckless, many will suggest, but not a total kamikaze mission.
But it won't stop the senior MPs Yvette Cooper and Oliver Letwin, still pushing for a vote next week for their own bill that would force the government to delay Brexit if they don't have a deal in place by... guess when? 13 March. Oh look - the day AFTER Number 10's new deadline.
Here, the date of 12 March suggests that the government is, as one source suggested, "planning for every eventuality".
In other words - they think it's likely MPs might indeed vote this week to extend the process if a deal hasn't been done.
Read Laura's Blog.