Theresa May battles on after humiliating Brexit defeats in the Commons

British Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to keep her Brexit plan on track after a series of major blows in the Commons on only the first day of a marathon showdown.

As the Prime Minister prepared for day two of the intense five-day debate, a former Tory whip broke ranks and said he would vote against the proposals.

Mark Harper, who backed Remain in the 2016 referendum, insisted the agreement with the EU would leave Britain worse off and urged Mrs May to renegotiate.

Piling extra pressure on Mrs May, he said it was forecast she would lose the crush vote on December 11 by more than 80 votes, saying many feel “misled”.

Mr Harper told the Telegraph: “I’m just very disappointed that as a loyal MP I’ve found myself in this situation, that in order to keep to the promises we made just last year in the general election, I’ve been forced to vote against the Cabinet’s proposals.

“Keeping promises in politics is important and I think many colleagues also feel they have been misled.”

The comments came in the wake of a humiliating set of Commons defeats for Mrs May which saw the Government forced to allow MPs to have a say on what happens next if the Brexit deal is voted down on Tuesday.

Ministers also had to agree to publish the “final and full” legal advice to Cabinet on the withdrawal agreement as the Government was found to be in contempt of Parliament for not already doing so.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds told BBC2’s Newsnight that the “difficulties” endured by the Government would help “focus minds” of Tory MPs.

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“There is one deal on the table. If that were not to be passed, then I think we go into a period of some uncertainty about what would happen instead.”

He added: “If we don’t get this deal, there are two other things could happen: either you could have no deal and that would not be good for us, or you might end up with no Brexit at all.

Jeremy Corbyn is leading Labour’s attack on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal (AFP/Getty Images)
“And for individual MPs, we can’t guarantee which of those other two alternatives might happen if the deal doesn’t go through.”

Ministers were expected to set out on Wednesday how the highly sensitive legal advice provided to the Cabinet by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox on the withdrawal deal will be made public.

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