Back in November, Theresa May compared herself to her cricketing hero Geoffrey Boycott as she insisted she had the obduracy and resolve to get her Brexit deal through Parliament. But the Prime Minister now finds herself on an increasingly sticky wicket on the issue.
On Monday, Mrs May told a Press conference in Egypt that a delay to Brexit “doesn’t deliver a decision in Parliament, it doesn’t deliver a deal” and “just delays the point at which you come to that decision”.
But 24 hours later, she addressed the Commons to say that if her deal is rejected for a second time and MPs then prevent leaving without a deal on March 29, they will then be given the chance to vote to delay Britain’s departure to the end of June.
The most pertinent question in the exchanges which followed came from Leeds Central MP and Brexit select committee chair Hilary Benn, who asked simply what the extra time would be used for and received a vague answer about making the deal acceptable to MPs.
Her move appears designed to increase the pressure on Leave-supporting MPs to back her Withdrawal Agreement. But leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg said the possibility of a short delay would not be enough to persuade his peers to vote for her deal, while warning any longer-term postponement would be a betrayal of Leave voters.
Mrs May will be more heartened by the reaction of the business community, who welcomed MPs being given the chance to rule out a damaging no-deal exit at the end of March.
Nevertheless, it is clear the Prime Minister is on the back foot over Brexit.