IT is significant that Theresa May should make a direct appeal to the people to back the Brexit deal which she signed off with the European Union at a special summit.
For, while the Prime Minister has been haemorrhaging political backing on all sides in Parliament for her strategy, public support is holding up, not least because voters have a grudging respect for her steadfastness and want this issue put to rest.
Mrs May hopes positive public reaction will convince her Brexit opponents in Parliament to back an agreement in which she has tried her best to put the interests of the whole country first and foremost. However the consequence appears to be a classic compromise which has dismayed Leave and Remain supporters in equal measure ahead of a critical House of Commons vote.
The Tory leader now needs to demonstrate why her approach is the right one when the country does appear to be paying a heavy price for a loss of influence – one of Mrs May’s major problems is that she’s been unable to provide a clear and coherent message because she’s been afraid of alienating close colleagues.
Now a deal has been agreed with the EU, she needs to get on the front foot as she faces the latest fight of her political life. And to all those who argue that the Withdrawl Agreement is a betrayal of Britain, they need to explain what they would do after European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker specifically warned that Britain cannot expect to get a new agreement if, as appears likely, it is voted down by MPs.
Those who want Britain to walk away from the EU without any transitional arrangements – or, conversely, those MPs advocating second referendum – therefore need to explain, in very clear terms, what they would do if their stance leads to a Parliamentary stalemate and constitutional crisis. Their constituents do have a right to know.