Theresa May has been humiliated after suffering three separate Brexit defeats in the House of Commons – including a damning amendment tabled by rebel Dominic Grieve which all but rules out a no-deal exit.
MPs voted, by 321 votes to 299, to support changes to the rules on what happens should the Commons vote down her deal next week.
The vote, which was spearheaded by Conservative Dominic Grieve and saw 26 Tory MPs rebel against the government, could potentially tilt the balance of power between government and Parliament.
It means that instead of the government having to come back to tell MPs what their next steps are – and MPs voting on that – they would theoretically be able to vote on what they wanted the government to do as well.
The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg said MPs were asking for the right to tell ministers what to do if there is a second attempt to get the PM’s deal through the Commons.
Mr Grieve’s amendment was backed by a number of Tory MPs including Sir Oliver Letwin, Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry.
One of those to back the motion, Oliver Letwin, said he believed the majority opinion of the Commons was that a no-deal exit would be “catastrophic” for the UK.
He said the motion allowed those who shared his views to “crystallise and express” their opinions.
It means the Commons could order Mrs May to adopt a soft Brexit strategy – or even call a second referendum.
When MPs finally vote on the deal itself a week from today, Mrs May is on course for a heavy defeat with Brexiteers and Remainers from her own party expected to team up with the opposition.
Brexiteers pointed out that the motion will not technically be legally binding on the Government.
Tory MP Steve Baker said: “It is not legally binding on the PM. Acts are law, motions are motions. The executive still decides how to proceed.”
But Westminster insiders insisted it would be seen as “politically binding” – because if the PM ignores the will of the Commons, she risks being thrown out of power altogether
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)