This time she'd promised to resign if they approved it, paving the way for new leadership to execute Prime Minister Theresa May's deal with the European Union for Britain to depart the bloc. Dangling the keys to Downing Street reportedly won over a few power-hungry Tories like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, but not enough. Her Brexit deal was defeated again, for the third time.
The vote on Friday might have been Mrs. May's last chance to succeed on the issue that has dominated and defined her time in office, and the result left open an array of possibilities, including renewed demands for her resignation and early parliamentary elections.
The defeat appears to leave the increasingly weakened prime minister with two unpalatable options in the short run: Britain can leave the bloc on April 12 without an agreement in place, a chaotic and potentially economically damaging withdrawal; or Mrs. May can ask European leaders – who have ruled out a short delay if her plan failed – for what could be a long postponement.
It wasn't quite the thrashing as the first two votes — 344 votes to 286 — but still so far off that the sheer surreal chaos of it all impresses once again.