She is now reportedly locked in a stand-off with hardline Brexiteer chiefs who are calling for her to resign.
MPs are saying they will back her plan if she resigns, but refuse to do so unless she goes public with a date.
The PM held crunch talks at the weekend with rivals including Boris Johnson and leader of the powerful ERG cabal Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Pressure is said to be mounting on the PM to quit – and last night she was struck down with another defeat as MPs wrestled control of proceedings from the Government.
“Its a three way Mexican stand-off”
May reportedly needs to be assured the Commons arithmetic would ensure her deal would pass before making any resignations plans.
Tory heavyweight Iain Duncan-Smith is reportedly playing peacemaker behind the scenes.
He is leading talks between the two warring sides – and ensure the PM has a chance to leave with “dignity”.
Murmurs of distrust amongst the hardliners are however leaving them calling on May to first announce her resignation before another vote.
MEXICAN STAND-OFF: Theresa May leaves the House of Commons last night after another defeat (Pic: PA)
Mays supposed coalition allies the DUP – who she secured with a £1billon taxpayer dividend – are also reportedly only ready to back May once the rebel Tories have.
The situation is now pitched on a knife edge after three ministers quit the Government last night amid a key vote.
It means MPs can potentially dictate business of the Commons –normally controlled by the Government – for days to come, potentially paving the way for a "softer" deal that keeps Britain closer to the EU.
The Government warned the Monday night vote had set a "dangerous, unpredictable precedent" and said it was essential that any options put forward by MPs were actually "deliverable".
“Its a three-way Mexican stand-off. There is a way through all this if everyone jumps at the same time – the PM, the ERG or the DUP,” a source told The Sun.
“But nobody wants to be the first to move. The problem is we know how Mexican stand offs usually end”.
May is now being called to allow a free vote in the Commons as MPs stage “indicative votes” on alternatives to her Withdrawal Agreement.
"Many around the Cabinet table will argue for a free vote so Parliament can truly show what it would support," a Cabinet source said.
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