AS Theresa May flew to Strasbourg to seek 11th-hour concessions from the European Union last night in a frantic attempt to save her Brexit deal, premiership and reputation, the level of mistrust in Parliament was unworthy of one of the world’s greatest democracies.
After Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s urgent question to the Prime Minister was answered by Robin Walker, a junior Brexit Minister, experienced MPs from all sides of the debate tried to score cheap political points off each other, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Britain is due to leave the EU in just over a fortnight’s time – and no one is any the wiser about the terms of departure.
And if the Government is still uncertain if a deal is achievable that can command majority support in Parliament, where does that leave all those businesses – and individuals – whose futures depend on the outcome?
For nearly 1,000 days, too many politicians have been rerunning the June 2016 referendum rather than coming up with practical and pragmatic ways to implement the instruction of voters. Tory and Labour MPs also need to remember that their respective parties were committed at the last election to honouring the referendum result.
And while Mrs May has certainly done herself few favours, starting with her flawed decision to exclude political opponents from the process before calling a rash election which left her at the mercy of Northern Ireland’s uncompromising DUP, she deserves credit for still striving to find answers when it is quite possible that no answer exists which satisfies sufficient MPs.
As her apparent ‘mission impossible’ reaches another decisive moment, she deserves better than the antics of those colleagues and opponents who are still in denial about the contempt in which they will be held if Parliament does not come to an amicable settlement by March 29.