Theresa May has urged MPs to give her Brexit deal a “second look”, as the prime minister stares down the barrel of a heavy defeat.
Addressing the Commons on the eve of the vote on her EU withdrawal agreement, Mrs May acknowledged it was “not perfect”.
But she urged critics to reconsider, telling MPs: “When the history books are written, people will look at the decision of this House tomorrow and ask: did we deliver on the country’s vote to leave the European Union? Did we safeguard our economy, our security and our Union? Or did we let the British people down?”
And, speaking later at a meeting of Tory MPs, she warned them they need to keep Labour and Jeremy Corbyn “as far away” from Downing Street as possible.
According to Sky News analysis, the PM’s pleas look set to fall on deaf ears.
Our tally of MPs’ voting intentions projects she is on course for a heavy defeat, with over 400 MPs voting against the deal.
Mrs May could even suffer the ignominy of enduring the biggest ever Commons reverse for a government, which currently stands at 166.
Mr Corbyn said the need for a general election and a change of government was “clear” in the event Mrs May’s deal fails.
He also addressed his MPs late on Monday, and was pressed by them on when he would table a no-confidence motion in the government.
Mr Corbyn told them the move, which he hopes will trigger a general election, is “coming soon”.
There is some speculation in Westminster that the Labour leader could table the motion immediately after the result of the vote is announced.
As the PM’s efforts to win over opponents entered its endgame on Monday, the EU issued assurances on the controversial Irish border backstop.
Brussels said they do not want to the controversial insurance policy, which is designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, to be permanent.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox then issued advice saying such assurances “would have legal force in international law”, while Mrs May said the EU’s letter made clear the backstop was “not a threat or a trap”.
But Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which normally backs Mrs May’s minority government in key votes, dismissed the exchange of letters as “meaningless”.
In another blow for the PM, Conservative MP Gareth Johnson quit as an assistant whip in order to vote against her deal, saying it was clear there was “no significant change” to it.
Ahead of the vote on the deal itself on Tuesday evening, a number of amendments tabled by MPs will be voted on.
Tory MP Andrew Murrison, chairman of the Commons Northern Ireland committee, has tabled an amendment to create a “sunset clause” for the backstop, preventing it being extended beyond the end of 2021.
Sky News has been told it is being considered by government whips, with speculation it could help change the mind of some opponents to the deal.
Labour MP Hilary Benn, meanwhile, has put forward an amendment which seeks to rule out Mrs May deal as well as a “no-deal” divorce.
Conservative former ministers Nick Boles, Sir Oliver Letwin and Nicky Morgan have proposed a plan to give parliament control over the Brexit process if the PM is defeated on her deal.
The prospect of an impending defeat for the PM has focused minds on what could come next.
As well as talk of a no-confidence motion from Labour, some are lobbying for Brexit to be delayed through extending Article 50.
Others think the only way out of the current impasse is to go back to the people and hold a second referendum.
Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson made clear his contempt for such options, telling MPs any delay would be seen as a conspiracy by the “deep state to kill Brexit”.
The government suffered a heavy defeat on the Brexit deal in the Lords, as peers wrapped up their three-day debate on the agreement.
Lords backed by 321 votes to 152, majority 169, an opposition motion warning it would damage the UK’s economic prosperity, internal security and global influence. It also urged MPs to “emphatically reject” a “no-deal” Brexit.
:: Follow and watch the Brexit vote live with a special programme on Sky News from 6-10pm on Tuesday evening.