TIME will tell if Theresa May’s ‘open door’ approach to rival leaders and Parliamentarians is a genuine attempt to break the Brexit logjam – or another exercise in futility.
Yet, while most politicians did accept Mrs May’s invitation in order to see if any consensus can be formed after her original strategy suffered a defeat of truly historic proportions, there was one notable absentee – Jeremy Corbyn.
As others were coming to terms with the scale of the constitutional crisis, and the public’s desire for MPs to implement the 2016 referendum result when Britain voted to leave the EU, the Labour leader was on the campaign trail in the seaside town of Hastings.
A day after his motion of no confidence in Mrs May’s government ended in defeat, he clearly believed he was better served addressing a rally of Labour devotees with Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, and Leeds MP Richard Burgon, the Shadow Justice Secretary, than showing the statecraft and statesmanship that the country should expect – by right – from the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition at a time of political crisis.
And while Mr Corbyn did send a letter to the PM demanding the removal of the no-deal Brexit option, the UK’s one negotiating bargain with the EU, before he consents to talks, his leadership and judgment is as much on trial as Mrs May’s reputation as public pressure for a solution grows.
For, just as Mrs May and her party face unpalatable decisions over membership of the single market and customs union – the stance favoured by the Labour leader – Mr Corbyn’s position is just as uncomfortable on issues pertaining to freedom of movement and a second referendum.
Rather than shirking his responsibilities, Mr Corbyn should face up to them if he wants to avoid the risk of voters shutting the door on him, and his party, when the next General Election – or referendum – does come.