Britain will remain in the EU until the end of October this year, but diminished in power and status, with a review of its conduct set for the end of June. It is the marital equivalent of being sent to sleep in the spare bedroom, if not quite the garden shed.
Wednesday night’s humiliation, when 27 other nations decided our fate – a taster of Norway-plus or “common market 2.0”, where decisions are made about the UK without our presence – exposes the lies of the Brexiters and the impossibility of a strong and stable position outside the EU. History will recall that Britons did not value their power in Europe until they lost it. Theresa May, too, was humiliated once again but it does not cut deeply since she appears to feels no shame. She remains convinced she was and is right: that blame is to be found with her detractors and not with her deal or leadership.
The question that remains unanswered is: now what? Few EU leaders were convinced that the process of cross-party talks would lead to a deal that parliament could support, and rightly so. It is not in Jeremy Corbyn’s interest to rescue the Conservative party from a crisis of their own making. And for May, any deal acceptable to the Labour party would cause a perhaps permanent split in her own party, not seen since 1846 and the repeal of the corn laws. [Continue reading…]