HAROLD WILSON’S classic ‘week is a long time in politics’ adage was epitomised by Theresa May’s confident demeanour in Downing Street – and in the House of Commons – after the proposed political declaration on post-Brexit relations between the UK and European Union was agreed in principle.
A week ago, it was uncertain whether an embattled Mrs May would see out the day – never mind the weekend – as Prime Minister after the resignations of Dominic Raab, Esther McVey and others left the Government on the brink of collapse.
Yet, while many in Mrs May’s party appeared to be losing their cool and sense of perspective, the Tory leader stuck to her guns amid the political carnage and tried to reach an agreement with Brussels that is in the interests of the whole country rather than certain Brexit factions.
Her leadership, and her dignity, put to shame Tory plotter-in-chief Jacob Rees-Mogg and his European Research Group which tried – and failed – to force a vote of no confidence while the PM was representing this country in the most complex negotiation undertaken by a British leader since the en d of the Second World War.
And Mrs May’s persistence has, in fact, exposed the inconsistencies in the approach that Jeremy Corbyn would take if Labour was in power at this critical juncture.
Assuming the agreement is approved at Sunday’s summit between Mrs May and EU leaders, there’s still the small matter of the PM seeking Parliamentary approval for her blueprint at a time when little consensus appears to exist.
This still has the potential to make or break the Prime Minister, the Government and the country. Yet, as MPs and Parliamentarians examine the small-print, it can only be hoped that more of them follow the example of Mrs May’s statesmanship after a week like no other. It’s what the country does, in fact, expect of them.