WESTMINSTER was plunged into chaos yet again last night as Theresa May suffered two further Commons defeats when MPs rejected the UK leaving the EU without a deal – at any time.

The results require the Prime Minister to bring forward a motion today allowing a debate and vote on whether the government should request a delay to Brexit, due to take place in just over two weeks. May’s motion was tabled soon after the votes and backed a delay until June 30.

However, the three-month extension to Article 50 is likely to be challenged today, with some MPs wanting a longer or even an open-ended delay.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, demanded an extension long enough to have a second EU referendum.

“The UK Government has descended into total chaos. Theresa May has lost control. That means it’s time to put the decision on our EU membership back to the people,” he said.

“Only a fresh referendum can now unblock things. The UK Government must now extend or revoke Article 50, and set into motion plans to hold a second EU referendum – with Remain on the ballot paper.”

Blackford added: “Scotland did not vote for Brexit and we should not be dragged out of the EU against our will. And the way Scotland has been ignored throughout the Brexit process means the case for independence is now stronger than it has ever been.”

After May’s withdrawal agreement was heavily voted down for a second time on Tuesday, she announced a government motion ruling out a no-deal Brexit on March 29 – overturning her longstanding policy of refusing to do that.

She promised MPs a free vote, but the motion was carefully worded, with the final sentence stating that, “leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this house and the EU ratify an agreement”.

However, MPs voted by 312 to 308 to support a backbench amendment tabled by former Tory cabinet minister Dame Caroline Spelman which deleted the last phrase so as to rule out a no-deal exit in all circumstances. Spelman attempted to withdraw the amendment, but it was moved by fellow signatory Yvette Cooper and won the support of a majority of MPs.

However, the votes are not legally binding and a no deal remains the default option unless an extension is agreed with the 27 other EU states, or a deal is passed before the end of the month.

To avoid a walkout by Cabinet ministers who oppose a no-deal Brexit, May initially gave Tories a free vote on the government motion. But this was transformed into a three-line whip to oppose the amended motion. In chaotic scenes, the government then rescinded its promise of a free vote and whipped its MPs to vote against its own amended motion.

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But the government still lost the vote, by 321 votes to 278 – a majority of 43. Commenting on the confusion, SNP MP Mhairi Black, above, tweeted: “It’s an absolute riddy that the Prime Minister tabled tonight’s motion and ended up voting against it. The entire thing was just another ploy to try and scare the ERG into voting for her deal yesterday. An absolute embarrassment. #NoDealVote.”

Responding to the defeats, May gave a defiant statement, insisting a no-deal Brexit could only be avoided by agreeing a deal or cancelling Brexit. If MPs agreed a deal, she said the government would request a “short, technical extension” to Article 50.

Without an agreed deal, she said there would be a “much longer extension” that would require the UK to take part in European Parliament elections, adding: “I do not think that would be the right outcome.”

The votes, while not binding, underline the strength of feeling at Westminster and the government’s loss of control.

“A second amendment, urging the government to pursue the “Malthouse compromise” – a form of managed no deal – was defeated by 210, despite May offering a free vote. Steve Baker, of the European Research Group, claimed some Cabinet ministers had supported the amendment.