Something needs to break the logjam and another public vote looks like the best option. But to win the votes it needs in parliament, its proponents will have to think the unthinkableby Tom Clark / April 9, 2019 / Leave a comment
Every branch of the Brexit probability tree looks decidedly unlikely. But, of course, one of them is going to have to happen.
Crash out? Parliament’s voted and now even legislated to try and prevent it. And more pertinently—seeing as it’s ultimately European rather than British law that really bites here—there is, in the judgment of the BBC’s superbly-connected Katya Addler, “no EU appetite for a chaotic Brexit.”
Simply revoke? Despite six million plus signatures on the “just make it stop” petition, most MPs and probably most voters too are not yet in a place where this could be countenanced. The vow on all sides in 2016 was to abide by the vote, and the big players including Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May and all her plausible successors do not think it can just be swept aside.
Get a deal through? Even May has conceded that her own deal is as good as dead, using a video this week to concede “I can’t see them [MPs] accepting it.” The talks between her and Jeremy Corbyn are supposed to explore the possibility of an alternative deal, though the noises thus far imply no one is budging very far, and indeed it’s hard to see much political advantage in anyone doing so.
Some say Corbyn wants Britain out of Europe, or at least wants the European question out of the way, but whatever his views on the EU, they count for little when compared to his overriding interest in getting the Tories out. He is not going to be helped in that by acquiescing in Brexit when most of his MPs and indeed his rank-and-file members bitterly oppose the very idea; even if the PM were to budge, he will be sorely tempted to find some way or another to dismiss whatever emerges as an unacceptable “Tory Brexit.” Likewise, May has been warned by many of her ministers that they would walk in the event of any serious compromise with Corbyn. How far, really, can we expect the PM to go in the haggling to avoid a disorderly exit for the country if it guarantees one for her personally?
So what’s left? Enthusiasts for a second referendum continue to hope—as they always have—that with a gridlocked…