Tactical resignation

As the Commons debated several more or less fantastic solutions to the Brexit conundrum this evening, without coming to any conclusion, Theresa May decided on a last roll of the dice, and promised that she would vacate the office of Prime Minister if her party would only support her deal, at the third time of asking.

Will this gamble succeed? As I write, it is still unclear. Boris Johnson, never one to allow principle to stand in the way of his ambition, has declared he will now back May’s plan; Jacob Rees-Mogg and other relatively sensible members of the ERG are wavering; more fanatical leavers like Steve Baker are standing firm in their opposition. Crucially, the DUP seem unconvinced, so the numbers aren’t really adding up in May’s favour.

In any case it is not certain that the Speaker will allow another vote, though I guess that John Bercow might shy away from precipitating an even greater constitutional crisis if it looked like the deal had a chance of getting through.

So it appears that the nation’s agony will continue for another week at least. I still think we’re heading for a general election, but there will be plenty twists to come before then.

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