The Prime Minister falls 14 votes short – and says that the Bill will be paused while he speaks to EU leaders.
If it happens, he must not just win but keep the backing of the DUP, Spartans, Labour rebels and as many of the whipless 21 as he can – and stave off a referendum too.
Steve Brine and Greg Clark, from whom the whip has also been removed, voted with the Government – which lost by 289 votes to 306.
Seven voted for Grieve’s motion, six voted against, and the remaining eight did not vote.
Mark Spencer is reportedly ringing round to inform them that they have lost the Whip.
Plus: I’ve never thought a national unity government is a runner, and I think it’s even less likely now.
He says that all those who want No Deal to be stopped “must take seriously this kind of offer”.