Carlisle MP John Stevenson sided with Conservative rebels as he voted to give Parliament more influence over what happens if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is defeated.

The Prime Minister suffered defeats on three key Brexit votes in the Commons this week.

While Mr Stevenson supported the government on two of those votes, he joined fellow Tory dissenters in backing a motion to allow a second debate on the draft deal if MPs reject it.

In the most sensational vote, MPs found ministers in contempt of Parliament by not revealing the legal advice they were given on the draft deal.

Mr Stevenson opposed this, and he backed a government proposal - narrowly rejected by MPs - to refer the dispute to the Common’s privileges committee, which would have delayed further action on it until after Tuesday.

Mr Stevenson is yet to decide how he will vote on the deal.

Explaining why he backed giving MPs the right to debate amendments to the Brexit deal should it be rejected next Tuesday, Mr Stevenson said: “It will give Parliament an opportunity to debate possible alternatives.

“It won’t be binding on the government, but will allow MPs to give the government direction. If you believe what people are saying, it looks likely that it [the deal] is going to be defeated.

“I am reserving judgement. I haven’t decided yet.

“But I believe having no deal is not in the country’s interests; I don’t believe a second referendum is the right way forward; and I don’t think remaining in the EU is an option.

“The question is: ‘Do I agree with the deal because I think it’s the least worst option; or do I not support it on the basis that I think there could be something better?”

Mr Stevenson is a long-time supporter of the so-called Norway option, with the UK switching to rules operated by the European Free Trade Organisation (EFTA).

That would allow the UK to remain in the single market, with continued free movement of EU workers, but an option for Parliament to set an emergency “brake” on numbers. It would also allow the UK to negotiate its own trade deals, and withdraw from EU agricultural and fisheries policies, and the European Court of Justice .

Asked why getting Brexit right matters in Carlisle, the MP said: “It matters for our economy and for our future prosperity. We have to balance our future arrangements with our EU partners in a way that is good for the UK, and that includes Carlisle.”