But this doesn’t mean we are destined for a no-deal Brexit. Indeed, I think it rather confirms that Downing Street is committed to an agreement.
The contour of their plan now seems obvious to me: survive the first few weeks of September, scramble their opponents and prevent them from limiting their room for manoeuvre, ride out the conference recess and get to the European Council summit on 17 October.
There they hope to secure a cosmetically-modified withdrawal agreement. They will survive a vote on the Queen’s Speech because, they will say, if they are voted down there will be no government in place to prevent a no-deal.
They will then put the deal to parliament in the days before 31 October.
Every other option, save for a deal, will have been exhausted and terrified Remainer MPs – convinced that Boris Johnson will go for no-deal in a way Theresa May would not – will vote for it, with a gun to their head.
Well that’s the theory, anyway.
It could go wrong at any point, with chances for a general election along the way very high.
Stepping back a little though, what today demonstrates is the power of the British executive.
It is a rude reminder to Remainers, so content with their comfort blanket of “legislative solutions”, that they’re probably illusory.
Under our constitution, he who controls Downing Street is basically king.
Even an administration as theoretically enfeebled as this one, with barely any parliamentary majority, pull all the levers, sets the agenda.
Remainers think the much fabled “Cooper-Letwin” bill, which legally compelled Mrs May to seek an extension to Article 50, avoided a no-deal in the spring.
It did not. Or rather, it would have done, had Mrs May not sought an extension already by the time it passed.
There is a world of difference from trying to force a prime minister who basically doesn’t want no-deal to avoid one, than it is trying to force one who does.
He can use all the political means at his disposal to frustrate it.
If you really want to stop a no-deal Brexit you have to replace the prime minister who wants one with one who doesn’t, which is probably why the chances of a no-confidence vote receding only yesterday are rising once more.