The battered and divided Remain lobby have been talking this week of opportunism. Opportunistically creating a period of calm during which Brexit apathy takes hold – during which time backbenchers who wish to reverse Brexit can grab the Brexit controls when most Brits are not looking.
Since last week’s fights there has been a period of calm and quiet.
The Prime Minister has got until the 13th of February to hold a second ‘meaningful vote’ on her deal. That is next Wednesday.
There are four options which are likely for next week:
- The PM’s Deal goes to a vote and passes.
- The PM’s Deal goes to a vote and gets rejected.
- The PM details her next negotiating moves and the MPs give her space.
- The PM details her next negotiating moves and the MPs attempt to take control.
Talk is of a delay to Brexit but the Prime Minister keeps ruling that out. That is wise, as she is well informed by now by her security services that waiting in the wings are hordes of angry Brexiteers who were promised the 29th March as the leaving date. They have their tractors and trucks at the ready to block key road junctions and cause absolute mayhem. There are some people who – after a delay – no doubt will care less for the laws of the land when they see our elected officials blatantly trying to bend them to their own minority bias.
The only possible, positive alternative is the Malthouse Compromise but it may be too late for that. A growing number of Brits just want out. If that means a no deal exit then so be it. The Malthouse arrangement is complex and gets suspicions up.
The Prime Minister has a great opportunity to let the clock run down and for us to fall out of the EU by default on the 29th March just 50 days from now. She could then be seen as the Prime Minister who delivered Brexit. In the years to follow she could position her legacy as the great negotiator who saw from the outset that anything except a clean exit from the EU would be an undemocratic betrayal – of the British People and Anglo-Saxon aspirations.
Don’t write off Theresa May just yet. Maybe she saw through the Gordian knot from day one – a no deal exit her only sword.