Yet, after seven days which, at times, gave lie to Harold Wilson’s maxim that ‘a week is a long tine in politics’, Britain is effectively back to square one in spite of Mrs May surviving a confidence vote.
Her torrid week started when she had to confirm last weekend’s reports that the Commons debate – and vote – on her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement had, in fact, been pulled.
Yet, after the European Union refused to give any significant ground in spite of robust exchanges between Mrs May and, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Tory leader is in no position to put her deal back to MPs.
All that has happened is that Britain has moved another week closer to a no deal Brexit – and all the risks that this entails – with just over 100 days to go before the country is due to leave the European Union.
Perhaps Mrs May should call the bluff of her opponents – and the EU – by tabling a series of indicative Commons votes on her deal, and every other viable option, until the Commons reaches a consensus.
Not only would MPs be doing so in the full knowledge that a no-deal Brexit, the option which commands the least the support, is the default fallback position, but such an exercise would help to break the Parliamentary deadlock and, possibly, enable the Government – and businesses – to prepare for the future.
If this did occur, Wednesday’s confidence vote might – just – come to be regarded as a blessing because Mrs May effectively has a year to see the process through, provided Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn does not try, in conjunction with others, to bring down the Government in the meantime. Yet, after the past week, nothing can be ruled in – or out.