Rather than addressing the politicians she needs to win over in the House of Commons as normal circumstances would dictate, she instead spoke at the London offices of accountancy firm PwC, ironically stood in front of a sign reading ‘Seeking common ground in Parliament’.
While staying away from Parliament meant she was spared the usual criticism, jibes and scoffing that have accompanied her remarks on Brexit from opposition MPs and many in her own party in the months since the Withdrawal Agreement proposals were agreed with the EU, she could not escape the damning verdicts on social media from those in the Commons who will soon determine the fate of her policy for a fourth time.
Mrs May’s belated attempt to reach a cross-party consensus includes a new offer of a Parliamentary vote on a second referendum should her deal pass, as well as giving MPs the power to decide whether the UK should stay in the customs union. But the nature of Brexit means such an offer has alienated as many, if not more, MPs than it entices. Conservative MP Simon Clarke was just one of those who backed Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement at the last Meaningful Vote who have now said they will not do so again.
Meanwhile, Labour MP Peter Kyle rightly pointed out that given her already-announced departure plans, Mrs May was making promises on behalf of the next Prime Minister - “likely to be someone who has repeatedly voted against the very things she’s announcing” and thereby making her commitments ring hollow.
Mrs May’s attempt to find common ground in Parliament to deliver her Brexit deal she believes is best is built on extremely shaky foundations.