PMQs sketch: Theresa May is going to be furious when she finds out who is responsible for Westminster's Brexit naval-gazing

Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Credit: House of Commons/PA Wire
Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Credit: House of Commons/PA Wire
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Hypocrisy levels in Westminster hit a new high at Prime Minister’s Questions this week.

A Tory leader, whose government has inflicted years of all-consuming Brexit obsession on a exasperated country, berated MPs for naval-gazing on Europe.

As a political party the Conservatives have torn themselves apart over the EU for decades. Prime Ministers have been brought down, elections lost and careers ended because of their deep, irreconcilable divisions on the issue.

But what was a Tory fixation, became a national disorder when the 2016 referendum transferred the pastime of arguing about the EU from the Commons backbenches to the whole of Britain.

The symptoms have included endless talk of trade deals, customs arrangements, parliamentary procedure and legal jurisdiction, leaving voters crying out for a cure.

Theresa May, though a remainer herself, has enabled the Brexit obsessives in her party to dominate the leaving process and public discourse for the two and a half years of her troubled premiership. And with the end in sight, she is now the one who will facilitate an extension to the process, prolonging the agony.

Yet today, in a spectacular display of delusion, the Prime Minister rebuked the House of Commons for getting bogged down in Brexit debate.

Dismissing calls for a long Article 50 extension ahead of a crucial EU summit today, she said the extra time would only be used by MPs to indulge in “endless hours and days contemplating its naval on Europe”.

She added: “This House has indulged itself on Europe for too long... [voters] deserve better".

She is right of course. But if Mrs May is looking for who to blame for the Brexit paralysis that has gripped the UK, it's time she did a bit of naval-gazing herself.