Incertitude prolonged

So, we find ourselves mere weeks away from what might very well turn out to be the most momentous event in the country’s post-war history, and it is still almost impossible to predict what is going to happen.

The general air of uncertainty is only heightened by a government that seems to have no clear plan about what it wants to do. For a day or two last week it appeared that Theresa May had settled on a strategy of trying to coerce the EU into granting concessions by embracing the hard-Brexiteers, but the nation barely had time to get its collective head around the madness of that scheme before she abruptly shifted course by softening her opposition to a Norway-style solution, seemingly with the hope of winning over disaffected Labour MPs, then, in the space of a day, performing yet another U-turn and ruling out a customs union. The end result is that she has alienated everyone, and a parliamentary majority for any position looks as unlikely as ever.

The stance of the Labour Party is no less opaque. Jeremy Corbyn has proposed to negotiate with the government to produce a compromise policy, but it’s not clear if this offer is in good faith, or a ploy to split the Tory Party, and perhaps provoke May into calling a snap election.

May is due to address the Commons tomorrow, to report on her latest fruitless trip to Brussels. She will probably ask for more time to come up with a deal, and, since no one seems to have any better ideas, it seems likely that she will be allowed to kick the can a bit further down the road, and keep kicking it, until the road runs out.

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