MPS have made history by voting to take control of the Brexit process away from the UK Government, leaving Theresa May’s authority in tatters.

It came after the Prime Minister decided against staging a vote on her withdrawal deal due to a lack of parliamentary support. 

To cheers in the packed Commons chamber, MPs voted by 329 to 302, a majority of 27, to take over the parliamentary agenda on Wednesday by holding a series of so-called “indicative votes” to break the Brexit deadlock.

These will be on a range of alternative options to the Prime Minister’s deal, including a Norway-style soft Brexit, a People’s Vote and revoking Article 50.

Mrs May suffered yet another parliamentary humiliation with the Commons defeat.

Three ministers – Alistair Burt, Richard Harrington and Steve Brine - resigned their Government roles to vote for the cross-party amendment, tabled by former Tory minister Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Hilary Benn. They were among 30 Conservative rebels, who included Paul Masterton, the MP for East Renfrewshire.

Mr Harrington, the pro-EU Business Minister, said the Government's approach to Brexit was "playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country".

A Government spokesman said the defeat was disappointing. “This amendment instead upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.”

UK ministers fear the process could involve MPs taking control of Parliament on a number of days and will instruct the Government to negotiate with Brussels on its preferred plan.

Following the vote, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I congratulate the House for taking control.”

Another amendment, tabled by Labour’s Dame Margaret Beckett, which called for MPs to have a vote on requesting another Brexit extension if a deal were not approved by April 5 was narrowly defeated by just three votes.

Another day of high drama at Westminster began with Mrs May chairing an emergency Cabinet meeting when she informed colleagues there still was not enough parliamentary support to try for a “third time lucky” meaningful vote on her Brexit deal.

As Wednesday’s Commons timetable is now tied up with the indicative votes debate - plus a legal procedure to remove the original March 29 exit day from the Withdrawal Act - this leaves only Thursday for MPs to back a deal to secure the extension until May 22 under the offer made by the EU. Failure to secure a deal this week will mean the extension is just until April 12.

The PM told MPs that Parliament had to “confront the reality of the hard choices before us”.

Much to the anger of Tory Brexiteers, she stressed how the Commons’ opposition to a no-deal outcome meant this “will not happen” while a no Brexit outcome “must not happen”.

Mrs May warned Britain could be heading for a “slow Brexit,” which extended the Article 50 process beyond May 22, but stressed such a move would “not bring the British people together”.

Already, there have been warnings from Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary, and Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, that a likely outcome to the constitutional impasse is a general election.

In her Commons statement, Mrs May sought to strike a conciliatory tone following last week’s controversial speech when she berated MPs for opposing her deal and pitched Parliament against the people.

She acknowledged MPs on all sides held passionate views. “I respect those differences,” declared the PM.

However, she later sparked outrage by signalling she would not allow any agreed alternative to her Brexit plan to go forward if it was contrary to policies in the Conservative manifesto, which the public had voted for.

“No Government could give a blank cheque to commit to an outcome without knowing what it is,” she declared, adding: “So, I cannot commit the Government to delivering the outcome of any votes held by this House.”

Ian Blackford for the SNP said the PM’s comments were “a disgrace,” accusing her of turning Parliament into a “puppet show”.

He told MPs: “What is the point of us all sitting in this Chamber and voting in debates when the Prime Minister thinks she can ignore parliamentary sovereignty?..What an insult to this place.”

Mrs May replied by saying: “Of course, votes in this House count but so do the votes of 17.4 million people who voted to leave the European Union.”

Earlier, Mr Corbyn claimed the Government’s Brexit approach had become a “national embarrassment”.

The Labour leader accused the Conservative administration of failing to reach out and of putting party before country. It was now time, he insisted, for Parliament to work together and “clean up the mess”.