Does the British Prime Minister really believe that her “last-minute deal” to prevent a clean Brexit is going to fool anyone?
Theresa May is trying to steady her restive Cabinet today as she braces for a crucial 48 hours that could decide the fate of Brexit.
The Prime Minister has gathered her senior team amid desperate efforts to get negotiations with the EU back on track.
After dramatically pulling the plug on a fledgling divorce agreement on Sunday, Mrs May has been frantically ringing round fellow leaders to appeal for a shift in their position.
Tomorrow night she will make a make-or-break pitch to EU counterparts at a summit in Brussels – with council president Donald Tusk warning that a chaotic no-deal Brexit is now ‘more likely than ever before’. German minister Michael Roth said this morning that Mrs May needed to ‘take responsibility’ for the talks.
In signs that concerns are growing within the Cabinet, around a third of the ministers met over pizza in Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom’s office last night to consider the state of play.
Four senior figures including Mrs Leadsom are thought to be ready to resign if the PM goes too far in concessions to the EU.
We’ve all seen this show before. Lots of posturing. Threats of no deal. Talks go down to the wire. Britain caves on nearly everything, the Europeans give no ground at all. Then, at the last minute, the Europeans toss Britain a minor bone, declares how tough the British negotiator is and what a bitter pill the compromise is to swallow, and having sold out Britain, the British negotiator triumphantly comes home with a treaty declaring peace in our time.
Eurosceptic MPs accused No 10 of manufacturing a ‘confected row’ with the EU to distract attention from a potential sellout. Former Brexit minister Steve Baker said the breakdown in talks was ‘almost certainly theatre’.
This isn’t merely obvious theater, it’s how everyone knew Theresa May was going to try to minimize Brexit from the moment she became Prime Minister. No deal is always considerably better than any deal with the devil.