Published: 09:46, 10 September 2019
| Updated: 09:47, 10 September 2019
It was no great surprise that MPs rejected Boris Johnson’s attempt to trigger a general election - the failure to get the numbers needed to force a snap poll was widely predicted.
The Prime Minister has now suffered six straight defeats in Parliamentary votes - an unenviable record that rather undermines the claim that he is a political winner.
It leaves the question of whether a deal can be struck unanswered and the options available to the government to secure a deal before the deadline of October 31 have narrowed.
The odds on a snap general election on the other hand may have lengthened but it is not completely out of the question.
Bewildered voters struggling to keep up with events may not be in the mood for an election but will find it odd that the MPs that represent their interests at Westminster will now be away for five weeks after the Prime Minister invoked his power to prorogue Parliament.
The crucial issue that confronts the Prime Minister is the obligation placed on him to request a further delay of three months in the event that no deal can be secured.
He has raised the stakes by his pronouncement that he would rather "die in a ditch" than ask for an extension.
The reputational damage that he would suffer if he went back on that would be considerable.
As things stand, Brexit is now in limbo - at least so far as Parliamentary scrutiny is concerned.
More by this authorPaul Francis