MORE MSM hype on how the Tory MPs will move to oust Theresa May this week if she agrees an exit deal with Corbyn.
We at TCW are not holding our breath on the umpteenth newspaper headline of the past year heralding The Terminator’s imminent departure.
Meanwhile some on the Guardian are arguing that Downing Street’s attempts to beguile Labour in the cross-party talks are but a mirage and that the Government’s duplicity will be found out.
We are not so sure. Kim May has more in common with Comrade Corbyn than members of the Left like to admit. And both leaders sound prepared to compromise – May on a customs union up to 2022, under the guise of a dual tariff, which Corbyn could accept on the prospect of a ‘close relationship with the single market’ though without free movement of people that could appeal to some Labour voters. Then there are workers’ rights, with which Mrs M might find herself rather sympathetic, still to be haggled over and given in to.
That any of the suggested compromises may be contradictory or in the long run un-negotiable is beside the point. When did that stop politicians doing a deal that suited both their interests – in this case their mutual urgent need to stop EU elections that would devastate both their parties? If that means committing to holding a second Brexit referendum or ‘People’s Vote’ at the end of it, why not? We doubt whether Mrs May would mind – if the vote fell out for Remain no doubt she’d be delighted. Problem solved. This is exactly what the Prime Minister is reported to have been discussing ahead of the latest round of talks with Labour. According to the Telegraph she carried out ‘scenario planning’ last week to prepare for a potential vote in Parliament on holding a second referendum. No doubt she will find a suitable excuse to insist to the public and her party that this is delivering the Brexit the people want – that she is doing it in the national interest which is invariably her own interest.
In the febrile atmosphere of the breaking news of Brexit politics it is hard to disentangle the spin from the spin. Both sides are putting out that the leaders have enough backing despite backbench rebellions to push a deal through Parliament WITHOUT a second referendum.
What is clear is Mrs May’s preparedness to break any red line to make Mr Corbyn sign up to an agreement and get him on board.
The question following on from this is whether this treachery is making the Tories in Parliament as angry as they need to be to topple her. Will their so-called wrath prove wrathful enough?
It still sounds rather too languid, revolving as to does around a polite expectation of her setting her own exit date – if the Times is correct in its reportage of how the far too mannerly and deferential Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee, put it: ‘The European elections are going to be on May 23. And I would like her to be setting out a timetable that spells out a leadership campaign pretty soon after that. Within days or weeks.’ Another member helpfully added that they could back Sir Geoffrey’s timetable if Mrs May’s talks with Labour failed.
But what if they don’t? That seems not to have been considered.
And do they really think she’s going to fall into line and comply with their hopes and expectations? Whatever happens to the EU Elections, and whether she fixes a deal with Labour or not, there is nothing to suggest that she has any intention but to stay on, and on. Nothing in her past behaviour, or her decisive and brutal sacking of the troublemaker (in her eyes) Gavin Williamson, indicates anything else.
We at TCW are not holding our breath as we continue to count the days.
Today is Day 33 . . .