A Cumbrian MP has confirmed he will be voting against No Deal ahead of tonight's latest parliamentary Brexit showdown.

Rory Stewart, Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border said this afternoon that he will vote against leaving the EU on March 29 without a deal.

Following Theresa May's crushing defeat in the House of Commons last night, where her Brexit deal with the EU was resoundingly rejected a second time by MPs by a majority of nearly 150, the Prime Minister announced she was to allow her MPs a free vote on tonight's Brexit motion.

This means Conservative Members of Parliament will not be compelled by the party's enforcers in the Commons - known a 'whips' - to vote one particular way.

Speaking ahead of tonight's vote, Mr Stewart, who is also the government's prisons minister, stressed his firm belief in the importance of establishing a firm EU exit agreement.

"I believe that it would be infinitely better to leave the European Union with a proper agreement in place to give us a responsible transition period to protect our industry and future.

"I do not want to see tariffs of 40% imposed on agricultural goods, nor do I believe that the significant economic and legal disruption - which would result from the abrupt ending of British involvement in systems which govern everything from healthcare distribution to scientific cooperation - to be desirable.

"I want a responsible, pragmatic Brexit - with Parliament engaging constructively in the process - and I will continue to argue for this over the coming days".

Tonight's vote is expected to take place at 7pm.