Is this the end? The tragedy is that she no longer knows. The Prime Minister’s destiny is in the hands of Britain’s de facto head of state, Donald Tusk. On March 20th, Mrs May told Parliament that ‘as Prime Minister’ she couldn’t countenance delaying Brexit beyond June 30th. If Tusk refuses her request for a second short extension, it’s hard to see how she can continue.
Theories and predictions abound. The noted political philosopher, Gina Miller, suggested yesterday that Mrs May could be using the Lab/Con talks as a scam that will enable her to complete a no-deal Brexit on April 12th and saddle Labour with the blame. The flaw in this scenario is that it credits the noodle-brained May with a degree of intelligence.
At PMQs she could barely handle a friendly question from her own side. Craig Tracey floated the option of a WTO Brexit on Friday. ‘Grab that opportunity,’ he enthused, ‘and believe in the ability of the British people and a Conservative government to make a success of it.’
She faltered and bumbled her way through a reply which included a bizarre new coinage, ‘the best Brexit.’
‘The best Brexit is for Britain to leave in an orderly way and to leave with a deal.’
Her halting off-kilter manner made one thing clear. The word Brexit now causes her acute physical discomfort.
Jeremy Corbyn, as so often, sprang to her rescue. He avoided the B-word and snarled his way through a stump speech that might have been written in the 1980s. Or the 1880s come to that. Carping about Tory cuts, he called the Prime Minister ‘cruel’ and ‘vindictive’ and he accused her of impoverishing Britain as a ‘political choice.’