Theresa May has weathered many storms – this Brexit defeat feels different

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It was a day that felt apocalyptic from the start. The weather pounding Westminster – and then the size of the government’s defeat.

In the end, Theresa May lost by 149 votes as MPs rejected her Brexit deal for a second time, prompting further uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the EU.

Monday night’s teasing glimmer of a breakthrough, after Mrs May’s last ditch trip to Strasbourg, only made the realisation that she was going to lose even more painful. It’s the hope that kills you.

But today – the prime minister knew defeat was coming.

First her voice gave up on her… and then her backbenchers.

The woman who once made a virtue of not being clubbable now needed allies who would follow her into the trenches. They weren’t there.

Grinding through the days, Mrs May has stubbornly clung on – perhaps driven by a vicar’s daughter’s sense of public duty.

She’s survived confidence votes, humiliations in Brussels and at the ballot box… and the worst defeat of any sitting government ever.

At what point, though, does an admirable ability to endure turn into sticking your fingers in your ears?

Her premiership – and her fragile Brexit deal – have weathered storms before but this time it feels different.

Brexit Crisis Live: Watch Sky News’ special programme from 6pm as MPs vote on ruling out a no-deal Brexit

(c) Sky News 2019: Theresa May has weathered many storms – this Brexit defeat feels different

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