DAVID Davis has been forced into a humiliating climb-down over his suggestion that MPs might only be given a vote on the final Brexit deal until after Britain has left the European Union.

His remarks, made to members of the Commons Brexit Committee, caused a stir at Westminster, where pro-EU MPs angrily pointed out how this notion would renege on an earlier ministerial promise that Westminster would get a “meaningful vote” on any deal with Brussels before the country formally withdrew in March 2019.

During PMQs, Theresa May contradicted the Brexit Secretary as did No 10 later on when a spokesman made clear MPs would get a vote on any deal before Brexit happened.

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Downing Street later insisted the Prime Minister had "full confidence" in the Secretary of Secretary after his department issued a clarification to make clear the Government did indeed expect MPs to be given a vote before the March 2019 departure date.

But Government critics said the sequence of events showed "chaos" and a "shambles" at the heart of the Tory Government.

Addressing the committee, Mr Davis had said he expected negotiations to go on until the last minute of the final day before the UK left and Parliament would not get a say until the agreement was secured.

He said: "It's no secret that the way the Union makes its decision tends to be at the 59th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day and so on and that is precisely what I would expect to happen.”

The Secretary of State said such a scenario would involve a “lot of pressure, very high stress; very exciting for everybody watching”.

Pressed on whether that meant a vote in Parliament on the deal could be after March 2019, he replied: "It could be, yes, it could be.”

But Mrs May later contradicted Mr Davis, telling MPs she was "confident" a deal would be secured in time for it to go before Parliament before March 2019.

Officials in the Department for Exiting the European Union then issued a statement clarifying the Brexit Secretary's comments, claiming they were in response to "hypothetical scenarios".

A spokesman for Mr Davis said: "We are working to reach an agreement on the final deal in good time before we leave the EU in March 2019.

"Once the deal is agreed we will meet our long-standing commitment to a vote in both Houses and we expect and intend this to be before the vote in the European Parliament and therefore before we leave."

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer said the contradictory statements from Mrs May and Mr Davis had added to the "confusion and chaos over the Government's approach to the Brexit negotiations".

His colleague Pat McFadden, speaking on behalf of the pro-EU Open Britain campaign, said: "This U-turn exposes another self-created shambles in Government over Brexit."

Meanwhile, Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, suggested Britain might have to temporarily extend its EU membership if a Brexit deal had not been ratified by both sides at the planned exit date of March 2019.

The Tory backbencher, who has put down a number of amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, said the Government would leave itself open to a “serious risk” of a legal challenge if it failed to put an exit deal on a statutory footing via a vote in the Commons and the Lords.

Elsewhere, MPS were told that the taxman would need up to £450 million in extra funding to deal with the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Jon Thompson, HMRC’s top civil servant, told the Commons Public Accounts Committee, an extra 3,000 to 5,000 extra staff would need to be recruited to cope with a no-deal outcome.

“It will be several hundred million pounds if we are implementing the option of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union with no ongoing special relationship in April 2019,” he explained.