SO where do we go from here? In normal times, the loss of the most crucial Parliamentary vote of their premiership would leave a Prime Minister in a completely untenable position.

Clearly, however, these are far from normal times, so while Theresa May has been dealt a damaging blow by last night’s emphatic rejection of her Brexit bill, the wound is not yet fatal. Like a battered fighter refusing to remain on the canvas, Mrs May staggers on.

Brussels will be her next port of call, but while she will leap on any hint of a concession from EU leaders as proof that her deal can be saved, deep down even the Prime Minister must know that she will be unable to elicit the kind of radical shift that might enable her to secure a majority in the House of Commons.

Labour have called a vote of no confidence in the Government, which will be debated today, but with the DUP adamant they will not be voting with the opposition, it is impossible to see how their motion will pass.

The current impasse is set to continue, but with the withdrawal deadline drawing near, two polarised positions are emerging as the likeliest end scenarios. Exit with no deal or return to the public with a second referendum.

Neither outcome is especially desirable, but it is just about possible to envisage a scenario where either could come to pass. The question now, as it has been since the date of the Brexit vote in 2016, is which way our MPs will decide to jump. And, perhaps more importantly, whether they will be able to carry the rest of the country with them.