Brexit: Theresa May scores 'unconventional win'

Laura Kuenssberg
Political editor
@bbclaurakon Twitter

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image copyrightAFP/Getty Images

When things seem confusing, make a list.

Theresa May was heading for another defeat, but she ended up with an unconventional win - a win nonetheless.

The Tory Party that was visibly split in two a fortnight ago is giving the impression of being largely united, even if that is temporary.

Yet the prime minister only won because she gave into Brexiteer and DUP demands, by making a promise that she can't be sure she can keep - one the EU says at the moment is impossible.

Parliament made it clear that it does not want to leave the EU without a deal. Right now, that's not something No 10 is willing to promise.

But MPs could have made that demand more convincingly.

Parliament had the option to vote to take control of the Brexit process if the government failed to get it sorted by the end of next month, and it did not.

Again, former Remainers failed to coalesce around a single plan.

And again, Theresa May has had to budge to keep Brexiteers on board.

But that buys her a little more time, and a little more political momentum.

media captionNumbers and nods: MPs back May's bid to change deal

This process has for a long time been about No 10 stumbling, often seriously, then getting up again to try to take another step.

There is a valid question - to what end?

Neither time nor momentum provides a solution on its own.

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