Yesterday, Theresa May told the UK that her Brexit deal had the backing of her own party. We now know that to be a patent fabrication. So, what happens now?
What a difference, a day makes. Twenty four little hours ago, Theresa May told the nation on the steps of 10 Downing Street on November 14 that she “believed with her head and her heart” in the draft withdrawal agreement she had negotiated with the EU. Her cabinet agreed, she told us so.
As it turns out, there was no such agreement. This morning, the May cabinet represents the share cupboard in a sharehouse. Barren, unstocked, replete with a tacit understanding that no-one in the house wants to clean it. The wave of cabinet resignations seemingly indicate that May’s pork pie may be the appetiser, culminating in her resignation.
So, what happened? Primarily, it was beauty that killed the beast. Or, more pointedly, May’s stubborn valuation of the “red lines“. The red lines represent the UK leaving the customs union and the single market, ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. All of them required to maintain a border between the two countries, and also hamstrung the possibility of a smooth transition. Oddly, the lines themselves are unnecessary, they were not issues on the 2016 referendum, and May’s choice to go down that road seems like naked periphery pecking.
Ostensibly, May’s fall was sped by her instance of playing to the Hard Brexiteers in her own party, the will of the people she oft-referenced was theirs. As a result, her deal, plays to them and no-one else. It has no internal support, let alone in parliament proper.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 15, 2018
All of which brings me to suspicion, one which births an interesting theory. May’s deal has long spun out of hand. Perhaps, as the populace burned and seethed revenge, she wanted to reverse it. Perhaps in donating all her attention to a superfluous matter, one that would break the deal if she validated enough and left the rest, then perhaps Theresa pulled a mother of an own goal. A rupturing of one’s own net to free oneself from the responsibility. She may well go down as a cuck on par with Chamberlain, but what’s more precious? The country, or the country’s assumption of an individual.
All of that is baseless conjecture, but it’s what I’d do. Leap on the grenade of the pin I pulled.
So what happens now? First, May’s Conservative Party will come under threat. Rumours already exist that a breakaway committee, the 1922 Committee, has the requisite number of votes to trigger a leadership challenge. There are even internet rumours that May will realise that “no Brexit” is an option, which plays into my nonsense theory above.
If the challenge is met, it could lead to a no-confidence vote, booting our May and/or call another general election. The other side of the coin is that May holds on, and the UK leaves the EU sans deal. Simply put, welcome to political deadlock.
I believe this meme outlines it adequately:
The other area to consider is Jeremy Corbyn. If he plays up the sanctity of his own party, he’ll be lumped in the same bin as May. What the UK needs is leadership beyond party politics. An official line that officially states that the 2016 referendum was a mistake, and that the key issues need facing, beyond the fetid point scoring. Someone needs to put their hand up for the lies, the corruption and the simplification of such a complex issue. That’s what the people want. That, and to stay.
In the words of Sheffield Hallam University’s Andy Price: “…it must deal with a much more deep-seated and intractable issue in UK politics: the framing of the EU in the political community of the UK. Ever since joining in 1973, both sides of the political divide have misrepresented what the EU actually is and the idea that the UK is exceptional and worthy of special treatment. Worse, when politically expedient, they have blamed the EU for various domestic woes.”
Simply put, the fat lady is yet to sing, but she’s started her gurgling.