SOUTH Essex MPs were split as the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal was once again rejected.

MPs descended on the House of Commons on Tuesday night to vote on the deal, with Theresa May making a last minute plea to member to back her deal after late night talks in Strasbourg on Monday.

But the deal was voted down by 149 votes, on a slight improvement on the historic 230 vote defeat the same deal suffered in January.

South Essex MPs were split, with three voting in favour of the deal, and three against.

South Basildon and East Thurrock MP, Stephen Metcalfe, Castle Point MP, Rebecca Harris, and Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, all voted in favour of the deal, with the Tories supporting their PM.

But Conservative MP, Mark Francois, representing Rayleigh and Wickford, voted down the plans, alongside Basildon and Billericay Tory MP, John Baron, and Rochford and South East Tory MP, James Duddridge, voting against the plans.

The majority of South Essex MPs voted in the same way as they did in the January vote on the Brexit deal, apart from Mr Amess who voted against the deal previously.

Mr Francois has consistently stated he would not vote for a plan that left the UK “half in and half out” the EU, while Mr Duddridge previously insisted it was a “bad deal for the UK” echoing Mr Francois views.

Speaking after the defeat, Mrs May said MPs would have to decide whether they want to delay Brexit, hold another referendum, or whether they “want to leave with a deal but not this deal”.

MPs will vote again tonight on whether to block the UK from leaving the EU without an agreement come Brexit day at the end of the month.

The vote only applies to the March 29 deadline and would not rule out the prospect of a no-deal exit later this year, if Parliament is ultimately unable to agree a way forward.

Mrs May has said Tory MPs will get a free vote.

That means ministers and MPs can make their own mind up rather than following the orders of party managers - an unusual move for a vote on a major policy.

Although he voted against the deal, Mr Duddridge has stated he wants to see no deal remain as an option.

He said: “Taking no deal off the table damages the ability of the UK to get a good free trade deal.

“We have a manifesto that guaranteed Brexit and we are giving up our fall back option in the final days.”

It is unclear at this stage how other South Essex MPs are expecting to vote on no-deal, but Mrs Harris previously told the Echo she “would be happy with a so-called no deal Brexit”.

The UK is still set to leave the EU on March 29, unless the deadline is extended.

If a no-deal exit is rejected, MPs are expected to vote tonight on extending Article 50 - essentially delaying Brexit.

The EU has said it would need “a credible justification” before agreeing to any extension, and a delay would have to be voted for by all 27 member nations.