Conservative MPs should finally get behind Theresa May’s Brexit plan in yet another Commons vote, Philip Hammond has argued, saying the alternatives were either a softer, cross-party Brexit or a long delay to departure.
After MPs voted to indefinitely rule out a no-deal Brexit, and ahead of another likely dramatic set of votes on Thursday about extending article 50 and the idea of a second referendum, the chancellor strongly indicated that May would try for a third time to get her deal through parliament.
Amid signs the Democratic Unionist party and Tory Brexiters might finally be starting to back the deal, Hammond used a round of media interviews to warn them of the consequences of it failing yet again.
7pm Caroline Spelman declines to move her amendment aimed at taking a no-deal Brexit off the table for good – but Yvette Cooper, one of the other signatories, moves it instead.
7.16pm MPs back the amendment by 312 votes to 308, defeating the government.
7.21pm Word gets out that the government now plans to whip against its main no-deal motion because it has been amended to rule out no-deal in all circumstances. Rumours begin to fly of ministers being ready to resign to defy the whip.
7.33pm MPs reject the Malthouse compromise – an amendment in favour of a managed no-deal Brexit – by 374 votes to 164.
7.42pm Tory whips attempt to force MPs to vote against the amended motion they had effectively already backed. A number of cabinet ministers now reported to be abstaining.
7.49pm May is defeated again – with the margin of loss increasing from four to 43.
7.55pm May tells MPs that if they do not back a deal soon she will have to seek a long article 50 extension.
8.01pm Names emerge of government ministers – including Amber Rudd and David Gauke – who abstained on the vote, amid continuing rumours that they could be forced to resign.
8.09pm Sarah Newton, a junior pensions minister, resigns after defying the whip to vote against the government.