The Easter holidays may have meant a welcome break from Brexit for politicians and the public, but the problems surrounding Britain’s elongated exit from the European Union have not gone away.
As cross-party Brexit talks resumed between the Conservatives and Labour yesterday, they were accompanied by the now extremely-familiar background of Conservative MPs calling on the Prime Minister to stand down immediately and counter-arguments from the likes of Prisons Minister Rory Stewart that a new face at 10 Downing Street would not solve the country’s divisions over Brexit.
The limbo which the UK currently finds itself in is almost perfectly symbolised by both pro-Leave and Remain parties now stepping up their preparations in earnest for scheduled European Parliamentary elections now less than a month away – a vote which in theory may yet not go ahead if Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement is approved by MPs at the fourth time of asking in the next few weeks.
One thing that may well focus the minds of previously-recalcitrant Conservative MPs who have been unwilling to support her deal is that if the European elections do go ahead, as currently seems likely, there can be little doubt the Conservative party will be punished at the polls even by their own members and officials for how Britain’s departure from the European Union has been handled – an extraordinary 40 per cent of Conservative councillors have already indicated they are likely to support Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
While it is entirely understandable many in Government and Parliament are feeling a certain amount of fatigue with the Brexit process after months of intense argument and debate that often appear to result in little or no progress, the stakes for this country’s future could not be higher.