Theresa May is expected to suffer a humiliating loss in the Commons after attempts to defend the Brexit withdrawal agreement she unveiled in November. With only 206 MPs reported to be ready to back Mrs May, BBC's Laura Kuenssberg claimed the Prime Minister could transform her defeat into a weapon to lure Brexiteer MPs to her side. Ms Kuenssberg suggested Remainer MPs could turn out to be vital for the Prime Minister's potential return from the ashes.
Sharing her predictions for the consequences of a Government defeat on January 15 on Brexitcast, the BBC political editor said: "Someone in Government was explaining to me yesterday they feel rather hopeful of having a much smaller defeat because they think the most likely amendment to get enough backing is the Hilary Benn amendment.
"The Hilary Benn amendment says, ‘no to this deal and no to no deal.’ If that wins, that will win because of a relatively small group of Remainers.
"If Number 10 were feeling crunchy and excitable and smart about how they might be able to spin that, they could say on Wednesday morning, ‘look, Brexit was defeated by a small group of Remainers who are trying to thwart Brexit. come with me, back my deal.’
"'Oh, look, here’s a ladder for some Brexiteers to climb down. Oh, look, here’s a way to actually make this seems like it is a for Brexit or against Brexit vote rather than for Theresa May’s deal or against Theresa May’s deal'."
According to BBC research, Mrs May could suffer the biggest Commons defeat on record when MPs vote on her Brexit deal.
The broadcaster expects as many as 433 MPs to oppose the deal while only 206 to side with Mrs May to guarantee the UK leaves on her agreed terms on March 29.
British voters have also expressed their discontent with the draft divorce deal and have hijacked the crunch Commons vote by securing a parliamentary debate over whether the UK should quit the EU on no-deal terms.
Die-hard Brexiteers flocked online to sign a petition demanding a debate on the matter. The 321,000 signatures dwarf the 100,000 needed to secure a discussion in the House of Commons.
The document, titled ‘Leave the EU without a deal in March 2019’, reads: “We will save billions of pounds from our EU divorce payment as well as a similar amount from Civil Service and Government costs.
“This money will be used to support our own country whilst we await the EU to talk to us to make deals more in our favour.”
Hotspots known for their ports such as Hampshire and Dover have gathered more than 841 signatures - the maximum amount per region.