THERESA May’s Brexit deal has been defeated in Parliament for a second time.

MPs voted 391 to 242 in favour of rejecting the deal, representing a massive defeat for the prime minister.

The vote this evening came after the prime minister rushed to Strasbourg last night to negotiate last-minute amendments to the deal.


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But the deal was defeated for the second time as Tory Eurosceptics and DUP allies voted against it.

Speaking after the vote, Mrs May said she "profoundly regrets the decision this house has taken tonight".

She added: "I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is the UK leaves the European Union in orderly fashion with a deal.

"And that the deal we have negotiated is the best and indeed only deal available."

On a possible extension to Article 50, she said: "Voting against leaving without a deal and for extension does not solve the problems we face.

"The EU will want to know what use we mean to make of such an extension and this house will have to answer that question.

"Does it wish to revoke Article 50, does it want hold a second referendum, or does it want to leave with a deal but not this deal?

"These are unenviable choices that thanks to the decision that the house has made this evening, they are choices that must now be faced."

Earlier in the day Attorney General Geoffrey Cox told MPs that changes secured by Mrs May "reduce the risk" that the UK could be trapped indefinitely in the backstop, he conceded they do not remove it altogether.

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier today, the prime minister warned that "Brexit could be lost" if her deal was rejected again by MPs.

She said it was "absolutely imperative" that Parliament should deliver on the decision made by voters in the 2016 referendum.

And she warned: "Tonight, members of this House are faced with a very clear choice. Support this deal, in which case we leave the EU with a deal, or risk no-deal or no Brexit. These are the options."

But this was not enough to swing those who opposed the prime minister's deal.

Mrs May needed to win over scores of MPs to overturn the 230-vote majority which rejected her Withdrawal Agreement in the first "meaningful vote" in January.

Following this evening’s vote, MPs will vote on whether to rule out a no-deal Brexit tomorrow. If they vote against leaving Europe without a deal, they will vote on Thursday on extending Article 50.

This came after the attorney general told MPs "the legal risk remains unchanged" that the UK may have "no internationally lawful means" of leaving the backstop without EU agreement.

In a statement to the Commons, Mr Cox said: "There is no ultimate unilateral right out of this arrangement. The risk of that continues.

"But the question is whether it is a likelihood, politically."

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Cox had confirmed that "no significant changes" had been secured in two months of negotiations and the government's strategy was "in tatters".

Mrs May said she had "fought hard" to persuade the EU to accept a time-limit, a unilateral exit mechanism or alternative arrangements for the backstop.

But she told MPs: "Ultimately you have to practise the art of the possible. I am certain we have secured the very best changes that were available."

She insisted: "A bad deal would be even worse than no deal, but best of all is a good deal - and this is a good deal."

In a statement the DUP indicated it would not support the deal, saying: "We recognise that the prime minister has made limited progress in her discussions with the European Union.

"However in our view sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Commons: "After three months of running down the clock the Prime Minister has, despite very extensive delays, achieved not a single change to the Withdrawal Agreement.

"Not one single word has changed. In terms of the substance, literally, nothing has changed."

Mr Juncker warned on Monday that if MPs voted down the deal a second time, "there will be no third chance". And he said that any extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiation process could not go beyond May 23 unless the UK took part in European Parliament elections beginning that day.