The EU leaders wish us to remain, and they want (and, indeed, need) a deal. The problem is that, given their philosophy, no deal they offer will be acceptable to Parliament.
The options open to Mrs May are to leave with no deal, or to call a General Election, or a second referendum. She could, of course, step down, but this leaves her successor with the same options.
A General Election leading to another hung Parliament gets us nowhere. If one of the parties had the overall majority, they might be able to force some kind of deal through the House, but a large section of the population would see this as “Remain by stealth”.
Given this, a second referendum seems to be the answer but in reality, it courts disaster. A “Leave” win means we have the same problems which currently confront us. A “Remain” victory might see the country become ungovernable as would “Remain by Stealth” because the cat is now out of the bag. The referendum did not create divisions in our society, it exposed them.
Mass immigration is not the cause of all our difficulties, but a moment’s thought tells us that it is a contributory factor. Our welfare system, infrastructure, and culture cannot endure vast increases in population.
Another factor is our belief in the accepted wisdom of “trade”. It’s said that trade brings wealth which means jobs, wages and tax contributions towards our welfare system, as that wealth trickles down. Almost true, but the trickle has dwindled to a drip.
Forty years of EU trade have not made people better off and almost 90 years of universal suffrage have not truly given us a voice. What sovereignty does the common man have?
Would leaving with no deal be so bad? It is true that in the short and medium terms there would be problems. Shortage of skills, at all levels, is an obvious one, but a reform of the higher education system, particularly in the way it is funded, together with a decrease in population, would go a long way towards solving this. If food prices rose by 10 per cent perhaps we would cease to be the fattest nation in Europe. If house prices fell, perhaps our youngsters would be able to afford a home of their own. And perhaps we are already seeing a real benefit, which is the fracturing of the Party system which is so divisive, and designed to be so.
Perhaps we shall find a voice, and with goodwill and effort, create a better country for us all to live in. This need not be a dog’s Brexit.