MPs have rejected Boris Johnson’s third attempt to force an early general election to end the Brexit deadlock.

The Prime Minister had urged the Commons to back his plan for a poll on December 12 - which would have provided time to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before the campaign starts.

But MPs voted 299 to 70, short of the two-thirds majority needed, in favour of a snap election.

Mr Johnson is now expected to make a fresh attempt to drive legislation through the Commons which would only require a simple majority, and set aside the provisions of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

It comes after the Liberal Democrats and SNP indicated over the weekend that they would back such an approach if the poll was held on December 9.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock voted with the Government for a general election, and he said: “With a heavy heart, I voted for the prime minister’s proposal to hold a general election because it seemed the surest way to avoid a catastrophic no-deal that would cripple our economy.

“I held out against agreeing a Brexit deal for many months because I wanted to give the public the chance to have the final say but the choice we have been left with is effectively this deal or a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government.

"Faced with that choice, I felt I had to put my constituents first and try to pass this deal because Mr Corbyn would do more more damage to our country and our shipbuilding community than even the most severe form of Brexit.

“But of course parliament said no yet again so goodness knows where we go from here.”

Following the vote - which saw the Government fall 135 votes short of the 434 needed - Mr Johnson told MPs they had to end the deadlock over Brexit.

"We will not allow this paralysis to continue," he said.

Mr Johnson previously said the House of Commons was 'incapable' of delivering Brexit as he urged MPs to back his plan for a pre-Christmas general election.

The Prime Minister’s rallying cry came as he confirmed the UK’s 'formal agreement' to the EU extending Britain’s membership until January 31 - unless Parliament ratifies his Brexit deal sooner.

Mr Johnson said: “I simply do not believe that this House is capable of delivering on the priorities of the people, whether that means Brexit or anything else.”

European Council president Donald Tusk announced on Monday morning that the EU27 had agreed to accept the UK’s request for a Brexit 'flextension' until January 31.