It all looks grim come what May
THERESA May’s Brexit Plan A is certain to be thrown out by MPs on Tuesday.
She has no one to blame but herself. She promised the earth and delivered a pail of scrappy subsoil.
So what the nation requires from our Prime Minister now is Plan B. And by all accounts there isn’t one.
That is an unforgivable dereliction of public duty. Our country is facing the biggest upheaval since the Second World War, and the greatest constitutional change since the Reformation. And we are served by a government with about as much grip on it as Henry VIII had on matrimony.
Defeat for Mrs May means Parliament taking back control of Brexit.
And on present form, MPs will be no more coherent than ministers.
They are divided among themselves, from hard Brexiteers to People’s Voters, Canada trade dealers to Norway plussers, customs unionists to single-marketeers.
What is clear is that when Mrs May’s deal fails, all that remains is No Deal. That would be a disaster.
So if MPs want to stop that, as they rightly do, they must withdraw Article 50, which takes us out of the EU on March 29. That would be to renege on the result of the 2016 referendum.
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
If Parliament is paralysed, then the decision on next steps must be taken by the people.
But a second referendum is risky – as Nigel Nelson explains on this page.
That leaves Jeremy Corbyn’s preferred outcome, a General Election.
Mrs May could campaign on a platform of her deal. The other half of the Tory Party for No Deal. Lib Dem and SNP bandwagons would play Remain.
Labour’s Brexit position remains opaque, but includes permanent UK membership of a customs union, which this newspaper supports if Brexit is to go ahead.
But at least an election would give voters the full range of Brexit choices we have so far been denied.