Theresa May has refused to rule out asking MPs to vote again on her Brexit deal should they reject it the first time round.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, the prime minister would only say parliament would be in “uncharted territory” if her deal was rejected.
The Commons is due to hold the crunch vote on the exit agreement with the EU in the week beginning January 14.
But there is little sign that MPs are more likely to approve the deal now than they were in December when the vote was postponed.
Some Tory MPs were unimpressed by May’s attempt at a charm offensive after invites were sent out by Downing Street to a drinks party on Monday and Wednesday nights, inviting colleagues by name along with their “partner”.
“Number 10 could not be bothered to find out names of backbenchers’ wives and sweethearts thus demonstrating that they merely regard backbenchers as lobby fodder to support Mrs May’s dreadful deal,” one senior Tory told HuffPost UK. “Not an impressive basis for a ‘charm’ offensive.”
Another former minister said: “My wife said ‘I really can’t be arsed, I’ve been to Downing Street before’ so I will be going along alone just to see what approach they are taking.”
BuzzFeed News reported one Downing Street insider argued the vote would be held as many as “30 times” if they had to.
And according to The Sunday Telegraph, the government may delay the upcoming vote again in order to buy time.
Speaking this morning, May said: “If the deal is not voted on, this vote that is coming up, then actually we are going to be in uncharted territory.
“I don’t think anybody can say exactly what will happen in terms of the reaction we will see in Parliament.”
The prime minister warned her backbenchers: “We have got people who are promoting a second referendum in order to stop Brexit, and we have got people who want to see their perfect Brexit.
“I would say don’t let the search for the perfect become the enemy of the good because the danger there is that we end up with no Brexit at all.”
May also refused to put a timescale on her departure as prime minister and Tory leader.
“I was clear before Christmas with my colleagues on two things: one, I’m not going to call a snap election and secondly that I’m not going to be leading the party into the 2022 general election,” she said.