So. That went well, didn’t it? Theresa May back yet again to Brussels, where every word she uttered drained away another pint of faith in her. Could she get her deal through Westminster? Yes of course. What would be different this time from the last two times when it was voted down by an Everest of votes – including many Tory votes? Yes of course. No, no, Theresa – what will be different this time – that’s our question. Yes of course. And eventually she’s sent out of the room to kick her heels for hours until finally the EU leaders call her in and tell her that if she gets her Withdrawal Bill passed next week ( huge sniggers on every side), they’ll give her an extension until 22 May to pack the UK’s bags and vacate the Brussels premises. If her Withdrawal Bill gets shot down for the third time (“Did you say ‘if’?” somebody shouts), then she can have until 12 April, at which point she could probably get a longer extension if – IF IF IF – the UK participates in the EU elections.
Crikey. A rock lobbed at the head and a sockful of wet sand thumped into the face doesn’t begin to describe how unpalatable all that is. If May holds EU elections, there’ll be blood on the streets (metaphorical we hope): we voted to leave and three years later you’re saying “Vote for our MEP?” Can’t see even May having the chutzpah to try that one. Which means the UK will crash out and we’re all screwed. If her Withdrawal Bill passes (and mind that sow flapping overhead), the UK will be out of the EU even sooner and the good ship Britannia will sail off in search of icebergs.
There are really only two hopes left, and they’re both very very shaky. One is that the three-and-a-half million people who signed the online petition to call the whole thing off will persuade May to halt the madness and call the whole thing off. The second is that the hundreds of thousands who will march in London later today will somehow persuade May to call a second referendum.
Yes, I know, I know. But I still keep having this sweet dream where Theresa knocks on the EU door and sticks her head into the room: “Sorry, Michel, sorry, Jean-Claude, sorry Angela, sorry Emmanuel. Seems I’ve made a whole lot of fuss about nothing, been wasting your time these past three years. Fact is, we’ve decided to stay.”