COULD it be forever or is my mind just rambling on?’ Those of us of a certain vintage could be forgiven for substituting the lovelorn warbling of the late pop icon David Cassidy for the uncertainty of Britain’s departure from the EU. Like the Grand old Duke of York, no matter how many times Theresa May marches her bedraggled troops up to the top of the hill, whether before or after lunch, Jean-Claude Juncker will send her down again to come up with another wheeze about how not to implement the instruction sent by 17.4million voters nearly three years ago.
Over the weekend, sitting on a sofa at Chequers, Mrs May remarked: ‘Over the last few days people have been asking me what on earth’s happening with Brexit.’ She maintained that her deal, which is not in fact leaving the EU at all, was the only show in town, but conceded that after three defeats it was unlikely to be accepted at the fourth time of asking. She assured viewers that she and her government were committed to leave the EU and that ‘we must deliver Brexit’ and somehow get a deal over the line even if it means conferring with a Marxist who is the worst leader of the Labour Party it in its proud history. Apparently, this means ‘compromise’, which as we have seen from May signifies only one thing – capitulation.
Brexit supporters in their fury and outrage have seen her so-called ‘red lines’ erased, and perceive a PM in office but not in government; in hoc to a Remain cabal of Cabinet Ministers whilst the Brexiteers in the cabinet huff and puff and threaten to blow the house down but are too ready to preserve their own careers (or what may be left of them). It remains to be seen if any of them any show any principle whatsoever.
Arguably, trust in our political class, hanging by a thread, has finally snapped. The PM, in allowing the EU to dictate terms from the very beginning, lacking the courage and tenacity required to believe that the fifth biggest economy in the world can go forward into the 21st century unshackled by the protectionism and parochialism of the EU, has shown herself up for what she is: a second-rate politician not up to the job when the country required so much better. Those Conservative MPs who voted in December to retain confidence in Theresa May and her hopeless government must shoulder some of the blame. In the words of doe-eyed David, ‘Could it be forever or is my mind just wasting time?’ The country has wasted three years and counting.
Today is Day Five . . .