THERESA May has insisted the Commons vote on her delayed Brexit bill will go ahead next week, despite reports that the government is planning on postponing yet again.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, the Prime Minister said: “We are going to hold the vote. The debate will start next week and it will carry on until the following week, but we will be holding the vote.”

Scottish Brexit minister Michael Russell was sceptical, he tweeted: “She said that last month … and then cancelled it.”

The crunch vote is expected to be held on Tuesday January 15, and, currently, the government seem likely to lose.

According to the Sunday Times, May’s cabinet ministers are openly speculating that the Prime Minister could push back the vote, in a bid to try and convince wavering MPs.

The Tory leader’s initial decision to delay was so she could ask Brussels for further concessions on the so-called backstop, which, in the event of a no deal Brexit, will effectively keep Britain in a customs union with the EU, and prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The Prime Minister confessed she was still “working on” getting those assurances from the EU.

“What we will be setting out over the next few days are assurances in three areas: first are measures specific to Northern Ireland; the second is a greater role for parliament as we take these negotiations forward into the next stage for our future relationship; and third, and we are still working on this, is further assurances from the European Union to address the issues that have been raised.”

Downing Street is reportedly considering bypassing the EU member states and asking the European Court of Justice to give an opinion, confirming that the backstop could only be temporary.

May refused to answer questions about what would happen if MPs reject her deal.

The Tory told Marr: “If the deal is not voted on, this vote that is coming up, then actually we are going to be in uncharted territory.

“I don’t think anybody can say exactly what will happen in terms of the reaction we will see in Parliament.”

The Prime Minister also hit out at the possibility of a second referendum, saying it would be “disrespecting” people who voted for Brexit.

Government preparations for a no-deal Brexit are due to be stepped up today, with the Department for Exiting the EU launching a radio campaign, urging people to get people ready.

And on the road between Dover and Manston airport in Kent, around150 hauliers are set to see if the airfield can be used as a lorry park.

Asked if she would lead the country into a no-deal Brexit, May said: “I have always said that no deal was better than a bad deal. What we have on the table is a good deal.”

The DUP’s Deputy leader Nigel Dodds said nothing had changed in the past month: “The backstop remains the poison which makes any vote for the withdrawal agreement so toxic.”

Veteran Tory MP Peter Bone said the Christmas recess would have not softened Brexiteer opposition to the Prime Minister’s deal.

The time off will have “hardened attitudes of MPs” against May’s agreement and pushed them towards a “no-deal Brexit” he said.

The MP said his constituents wanted the government “get on with it”.

The SNP’s Ian Blackford said May’s latest interview showed she had “not moved an inch or listened to any of the concerns being expressed right across the political spectrum”.

“The fact is, Theresa May is still trying to push a deal through Parliament which her own economic analysis has shown will cost people jobs and hurt the economy – and it is no wonder that it cannot carry the support of MPs,” he added.