OLLY Robbins, Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator, has reportedly suggested MPs face an 11th hour choice of backing Theresa May’s deal or facing a long extension to the March 29 exit deadline.

According to ITV news, one of its correspondents, Angus Walker, overheard Mr Robbins “gossiping” in a hotel bar in Brussels on Monday night when he supposedly revealed that he expected MPs in March to be presented with either supporting the Prime Minister’s Plan B or facing a significant delay to Brexit.

It is claimed he was overheard saying: “The issue is whether Brussels is clear on the terms of extension. In the end, they will probably just give us an extension.”

Mr Robbins was said to have added that he thought the fear of a long extension to the Article 50 process could focus MPs' minds.

“Got to make them believe that the week beginning end of March...extension is possible but if they don’t vote for the deal, then the extension is a long one,” he was quoted as saying.

A government spokesman said: “We don’t propose to comment on alleged remarks from a private conversation. The Government’s focus is on securing the improvements Parliament needs to pass a deal so we leave the EU on March 29.”

John Longworth, Chairman of the Leave Means Leave campaign, said: "If it is true that Britain’s chief negotiator was carelessly briefing in a bar on the UK position in the Brexit negotiations, it clearly demonstrates the casual overreach of Olly Robbins.

“It is not for a civil servant to be speculating publicly on any matter, let alone one of such national importance and it is not for a civil servant to be formulating policy publicly.”

He added: “Politicians are elected to formulate policy and the PM to lead on the private advice of civil servants, who they can choose to ignore. It appears that Robbins has once again stepped well over the mark and one wonders where his interests lie."