Yet, while Mrs May claimed that she had listened to MPs after previously confirming that the vote would go ahead, this is not a Government facing paralysis. This is an administration so paralysed that it does not appear to know what it is doing from one hour to the next.
Already guilty of being in contempt of Parliament, the Government’s mismanagement of Commons proceedings, disregard of MPs and inability to build a consensus over the past two years increases the risk of a no deal Brexit, a scenario which would put the economy in peril.
Far from taking back control, the Government now appears to be out of control after the charade of senior Ministers insisting that the vote was still taking place while Downing Street was pulling it in a desperate hope that Mrs May can – in yet another contradiction – secure some concessions from the EU after previously saying this was not possible.
And in the unlikely event of the EU coming to Mrs May’s assistance over the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’, any changes will be so cosmetic that she will be unable to win a Commons vote at an unspecified future date because opposition is becoming more entrenched as her authority ebbs away.
All this does is hasten the likelihood of Tory MPs forcing a leadership contest and Labour tabling a vote of no confidence in the Government’s credibility.
Yet, while some will conclude that Mrs May has brought these scenarios upon herself if they come to pass, it can also be argued that they will be unnecessary and unhelpful distractions when MPs on all sides need to be coming together and finding a way to honour the 2016 referendum result, which commands broader support in Parliament and the country at large. In case they have forgotten, there are just over 100 days to go before Britain is due to leave the EU. And if that doesn’t concentrate a few minds, what will?