Boris Johnson is doomed to break his “do or die” pledge to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 after MPs halted his bid to fast-track the Brexit Bill through the House of Commons in just three days.

With just nine days to go to the Hallowe’en deadline the Prime Minister announced he was “pausing” the legislation to consult with Brussels, which will decide in the next 48 hours or so on whether to give him a so-called short “technical extension” to enable the UK Government to try to get its Withdrawal Bill through Westminster in November.

Conservative MPs expressed confidence the EU27 would give Mr Johnson a “10-day extension” to enable him to finally get the UK-EU deal over the line.

But last night, a senior Downing St source suggested Parliament had "blown its last chance" and if Brussels only offered a delay of three months or more, then the "only way the country can move on is with an election".

He added: "This Parliament is broken. The public will have to choose whether they want to get Brexit done with Boris or whether they want to spend 2020 having two referendums on Brexit and Scotland with Corbyn."

Following the votes, Donald Tusk, the European Council President, tweeted: "Following PM @BorisJohnson's decision to pause the process of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement and to avoid a no-deal #Brexit, I will recommend the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension.”

Leo Varadkar, the Irish premier, also took to social media to welcome that MPs voted “by a clear majority” in favour of legislation to enact the Withdrawal Agreement. “We will now await further developments from London and Brussels about next steps, including timetable for the legislation and the need for an extension," he added.

After another day of high drama, the PM experienced a bittersweet moment. The Commons was packed and the atmosphere in the chamber was tense as the first debate on the bill ended and MPs prepared for the two key votes.

After notching up a significant victory when MPs voted to give the bill a Second Reading by a majority of 30 - 329 votes to 299 - minutes later Mr Johnson suffered a major setback when they rejected the Government’s timetable motion – 322 votes to 308, a majority of 14. This would have seen the legislation complete all its stages in the Commons by Thursday night.

The timetable motion was supported by, among others, 18 Independent MPs, who included former Conservatives Amber Rudd, the ex-Home Secretary, David Gauke, the ex-Justice Secretary, and Sir Oliver Letwin, the ex-Cabinet Office Minister. Some five Labour MPs rebelled against the party whip to also support the Government.

Those who opposed it included all 10 Democratic Unionists as well as 15 Independent MPs, including former Conservatives Ken Clarke, the Father of the House and former Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, Philip Hammond, the former Chancellor, and Rory Stewart, the former International Development Secretary.

Just ahead of the declaration on the timetable vote, Mark Spencer, the Government Chief Whip, walked up to the PM, knelt down and relayed the result. The demeanour of both men indicated the Government had lost the vote.

Moments later, Mr Johnson told the House: “I will speak to EU member states about their intentions; until they have reached a decision, we will pause this legislation."

He insisted his policy remained Britain should leave the EU by Hallowe’en, noting: “One way or another we will leave the EU with this deal, to which this House has just given its assent. I thank members across the House for that hard-won agreement."

Expressing disappointment at yet another delay in getting Brexit done, the PM added: “We now face further uncertainty and the EU must make up their minds over how to answer Parliament's request for a delay and the first consequence is that the Government must take the only responsible course and accelerate our preparations for a no-deal outcome."

Earlier as he opened the debate on the Bill, Mr Johnson threatened to pull the bill if MPs rejected the timetable motion and it led to a delay beyond January 31. This appeared to be a direct attempt to pressure MPs to back the bid to fast-track the legislation but it was denounced by the Liberal Democrats as “childish blackmail”. Yet it left open the possibility of a short extension to get the deal ratified next month.

In Commons exchanges, Jeremy Corbyn insisted MPs had “refused to be bounced into debating a hugely significant piece of legislation in just two days with barely any notice and analysis of the economic impact of this Bill”.

The Labour leader said Mr Johnson had been the “author of his own misfortune,” but made him an offer to “work with all of us to agree a reasonable timetable”.

Ian Blackford for the SNP said the MPs’ rejection of the Government’s timetable motion was “yet another humiliating defeat for the Prime Minister this evening who has sought to railroad through this House legislation that requires proper scrutiny".

John Bercow, the Speaker, said the Brexit was now "in limbo" and would not proceed through the Commons this week as planned.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons Leader, quipped: “Theologically speaking, it was reported Pope Benedict XVI abolished limbo, so I do wonder whether the bill is not in the heaven that is having been passed, nor in the hell of having failed, but it is in purgatory where it is suffering the pains of those in purgatory."

Noting how in the two votes MPs seemed to “will the end but not the means” in getting the deal through.

Conservative MP and ardent Brexiteer Peter Bone asked the Leader: “Can we interpret from what you are saying that it is now impossible to get the deal through this House and the other House prior to October 31 and, in that case, it is effectively dead for approval before that date."

Mr Rees-Mogg replied: "Impossible is a very strong word but it is very hard to see how it is possible."

He announced the suspended debate on the Queen’s Speech would resume with a vote planned for Thursday.

Meanwhile, Ken Macintosh, Holyrood’s Presiding Office, announced he was “not minded at this point to recall the Scottish Parliament,” but added he would "continue to monitor developments closely for any material change that would necessitate members being brought back early”.