THERESA May has survived a vote of confidence – but suffered a blow with more than one third of MPs voting to throw her out.

Although a vote was called yesterday morning after the prime minister caused outcry when she cancelled a vote on the Brexit deal scheduled for Tuesday, ultimately Tory MPs backed Mrs May by 200 votes to 117.

This provides a stay of execution for the embattled PM, who now cannot be challenged for another 12 months. But it’s not a comfortable margin by any stretch – with more than one third of MPs voting in favour of the no confidence motion.

Mrs May has confirmed she will leave before the next General Election – scheduled for 2022. And she could leave sooner than that – especially if Jeremy Corbyn gets his way and a vote of no confidence in the government is held.

So what next for Brexit?

With the UK set to leave Europe in just over three month’s time, Mrs May has her work cut out for her. The prime minister was due to meet with European leaders today – whether that will now happen and who will attend is unclear.

The delayed vote on the deal must be held before Monday, January 21, and if it is defeated the government has just three weeks to come back with an alternative. And the EU has to rubber-stamp the deal.

Although Article 50 can be delayed – or cancelled altogether – this would be deeply unpopular and a very hard sell to the pro-Brexit camp.

Monmouth MP David Davies, a vocal Brexiteer, has said he did not believe the deal was perfect, but felt there was little choice but to support it.

“It’s important to be willing to compromise,” he said.

“I would have voted for the deal.

“But the time for compromise is rapidly running out.”

Conservative MP Mr Davies – not to be confused with dormer Brexit secretary David Davis – voted to support the prime minister in last night’s vote.

He added: “It’s time to take a breath and make some compromises.

“I’ve got friends on all sides of the house, and my sense is many others feel that way.

“There are some who are still fighting the referendum campaign. Perhaps I’m getting middle-aged because I’m saying let’s listen to both sides and compromise a bit. The deal is not what I would choose, but is it really that bad to have something we can all live with?”

Key to concerns around the current deal were the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’, which is intended to avoid the creation of a hard border between the two Irish countries, but which critics have said effectively leaves the UK subject to EU rules without a say over them.

And Ireland’s Taoisech Leo Varadkar has said there is no scope to remove the policy.

He said: "I'll be taking a call with President Juncker later on today to see what assurances we can give the United Kingdom parliament that might assist them to ratify the withdrawal agreement.

"However, that cannot be a change in the substance of that agreement including the substance of the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. But that is what we are going to work towards."

Mohammad Asghar, Conservative Assembly Member for South Wales East, agreed that MPs were still concerned about the idea of a 'backstop'.

He said: "I warmly congratulate the Prime Minister on receiving the support of 63 per cent of her MPs in the vote of confidence last night.

"To put things in perspective, this compares with the 19 per cent support Jeremy Corbyn achieved when he faced a vote of confidence in 2016.

"As the Prime Minister herself has acknowledged, concerns exist about the Northern Ireland backstop.

"If the deal is to pass through Parliament, legal and political assurances have to be forthcoming from the European Council that will allay the fears of MPs in the UK.

"The ball is in Europe’s court. Either they provide the assurances MPs need that will allow the deal to pass through Parliament or we leave with no deal, resulting in a £39 billion black hole in the EU budget.

"It is everyone’s interest that this clarity is received and the deal passes."

In a letter to EU leaders, European Council president Donald Tusk acknowledged the "seriousness" of the situation in the UK.

"The intention is that we will listen to the UK prime minister's assessment, and later, we will meet as 27 to discuss the matter and adopt relevant conclusions," he wrote.

"As time is running out, we will also discuss the state of preparations for a no-deal scenario."

On Tuesday, Mr Tusk stated that the EU 27 wanted to help Mrs May, but said the "question is how", having previously ruled out renegotiating the deal.

Yesterday a group of Tory Brexiteers launched a pamphlet setting out proposals for an alternative withdrawal agreement, removing a series of what they called “poison pills" which were preventing the deal from winning support.

Backers of the new approach - including former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab - said that Parliament had effectively rejected the PM's deal by making it impossible for her to get it through the Commons.

Among the policies in the new document are for Britain to regain control over tariffs and regulations and negotiate trade agreements with other countries, a 10-year, extendable backstop featuring advanced customs facilitation measures to keep the Irish border open – rather than the current proposal, which some have warned could be kept indefinitely.

Mr Raab said: "There are modest and reasonable changes that could help salvage the proposed deal with the EU.

"The UK needs a unilateral exit mechanism from the backstop, but we can give the Irish Government assurances that we would put in place specific measures to guarantee no return to a hard border.

"This proposal can help deliver this and allay fears that the UK would be stuck indefinitely in an undemocratic regime of laws we have no control over and can't exit."

Also backing the paper was Mr Raab's predecessor as Brexit secretary David Davis.

The question now is whether the party will rally behind the prime minister and the Brexit deal, or whether divisions will continue to deepen.