Embattled Theresa May was increasingly isolated last night as she came under attack from all sides.
Her premiership looked in peril as Remain Cabinet ministers threatened to resign, Brexiteers called for her to step down and the DUP blasted her “inexcusable” failure at the EU summit in Brussels.
On Thursday night the 27 EU leaders threw the Prime Minister a lifeline as they agreed to delay Brexit beyond March 29.
She could try to get MPs to back her withdrawal deal for the third time next week, but faces a huge struggle after they twice rejected it by three-figure margins.
And her task looks even harder after the DUP, which props up her party in the House of Commons, accused her of failing to secure changes to her Brexit deal — including the Irish Backstop.
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said “That failure is all the more disappointing and inexcusable given the clear divisions and arguments which became evident amongst EU member states when faced with outcomes they don’t like.
“We will not accept any deal which poses a long-term risk to the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK.”
Meanwhile, 18 ministers, including Cabinet members, threatened to resign unless the PM allowed votes on alternatives to her deal.
The Remainers plan to support an amendment on Monday — put forward by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, Tory Sir Oliver Letwin and others — that would take control of the parliamentary timetable.
Business Secretary Greg Clark confirmed the Government will give MPs a chance to express their view on the way forward if Mrs May’s deal is defeated again, as her deputy David Lidington promised last week.
Mr Clark told the BBC: “If it doesn’t get passed then the Government will facilitate, as David Lidington put it, the ability for Parliament to express a majority of what it would approve.”
Brexit Minister Kwasi Kwarteng suggested MPs would be given a free vote on the alternative options.
These include: the PM’s deal, No Deal, a second referendum, Labour ’s preferred customs union deal, a Norway-plus EEA deal, a Canada-plus free trade deal or revoking Article 50 and remaining in the EU.
Leave-supporting Tories vented their fury at the move, which they fear puts Brexit at risk. Steve Double called for “new leadership” and Michael Fabricant demanded: “We need a Churchill, not a Chamberlain”.
And Andrea Jenkyns said: “The Cabinet and Chief Whip need to tell her to resign.”
Mrs May’s late-night speech in Downing Street on Wednesday provoked widespread anger after she blamed MPs for the Brexit impasse.
Chief Whip Julian Smith is understood to have branded her remarkets “appalling” and acknowledged they made his job of winning over wavering Labour MPs harder.
It also emerged Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers, visited Mrs May at No10 on Monday after being “bombarded” with messages from MPs demanding she should go.
The EU has granted Mrs May an extension to May 22 if she can get MPs to back her deal next week.
If they reject it, the UK will have until April 12 to set out next steps, with a longer extension on offer only if Britain takes part in European Parliament elections in May.
Former UKIP chief Nigel Farage vowed to lead the newly founded Brexit Party if that happens.
EU leaders lined up for a photo in Brussels yesterday, but Mrs May was missing as she left the summit early.