Cabinet ministers rounded on the Prime Minister last night in emergency talks in Downing Street as a humiliating defeat crept closer.
Ministers including Amber Rudd, Andrea Leadsom, Liam Fox and Gavin Williamson offered up several options for what Mrs May could do next, but were met with a "non-committal reply".
One option was for Mrs May to fly to Brussels before the vote to persuade the EU that her deal is doomed without fresh concessions.
The ministers also discussed postponing the vote so Mrs May could ask the EU for more concessions next week, or until January to get time to re-open the talks.
A source told The Sun: “There was a general agreement we can’t lose a vote by 200. But there was dismay that the PM didn’t put her cards on the table.
“Amber [Rudd] asked her outright what she wants to do – and she didn’t say a thing.”
Another option is to table changes to the vote to promise MPs more say over what happens next with Brexit – as Mrs May hinted yesterday.
Speaking to the BBC she said she could give MPs a choice over whether to enter the hated Northern Ireland backstop if we didn't get a deal, or extend the transition period until an agreement could be reached.
But already MPs have slapped it down, saying it's impossible and wouldn't be legally binding.
Meanwhile, the Chief Whip Julian Smith admitted for the first time that he was facing a struggle, and next week's crunch Commons showdown could be lost.
He told ITV: "As you know, I've got an uphill challenge," but said there was "no plan" if Mrs May loses.
And he added: "It's a 24/7 job at the moment – I have to say I sleep very little and Brexit is always on my mind," he said.
The news came as:
- Jeremy Corbyn gave his strongest hint yet he will back a second referendum on Brexit
- Tories launched another bid to get MPs on side by proposing that the backstop is limited to just a year
- Ex-Cabinet minister Esther McVey said her colleagues "crumbled" around her over the deal
- The PM gave a hint she could resign if she loses next week's Commons vote
- Last night backbench boss Sir Graham Brady urged Mrs May to delay the vote or face the chop from MPs