Delusion prevails

Turning reluctantly away from the realm of anthropomorphic whimsy, we direct our attention back to the real world, only to find that fantasy is the order of the day there too.

The right-wing press was in full voice this morning, proclaiming Theresa May’s great victory in the Brexit vote at Westminster last night. On closer examination though, it became clear that her triumph consisted entirely of temporarily uniting her fractious party around the latest in her series of unrealistic plans, this one involving yet another trip to Brussels to renegotiate the very agreement that May herself was describing as final and unchangeable until just last week.

Of course this scheme started to fall apart almost as soon as it was conceived, as EU leaders lined up to reaffirm the position that there would be no further compromise on the Irish border question, and Tory Brexiteers hinted that, even if May miraculously returned with a deal which excluded the backstop, they would reject it anyway.

The government is effectively holding the country hostage, threatening the chaos of no-deal unless they are given what they want. This might be an understandable tactic, though still recklessness of the highest order, if they had a clear set of goals in mind, but to pursue such a course of action for the sake of the half-baked wish-list that is the Brexit programme seems little short of madness.

In any case, it’s clear that the hard-core leavers of the ERG have only made a temporary truce with May to waste time, and edge the nation closer to, and eventually over, the precipice. It seems alarmingly likely that their plan will succeed.

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