It was always going to happen. One day the world was going to wake up and say ‘what the heck are we doing trying to leave the EU?’ And we would descend into chaos as a result.
That day has arrived. It’s later than I expected. It’s more unmanageable than it should have been as a consequence. The blame can fairly be laid at Theresa May’s door. And that makes little difference right now, excepting the fact that quote bizarrely she remains in office. The truth is that the UK is in the worst constitutional and international relations crisis almost anyone alive (and certainly in government) can recall. That has potential untold economic and social consequences. And apparently no one saw it coming.
In itself the inability of politicians and the commentariat to foresee this is telling. The intransigence that has led to this situation has been apparent for a long time. It started at Lancaster House and has continued ever since.
And now the reality has really hit. And it is rightly said that we have no obvious way out of the situation that we (or at least Theresa May) has created. It is entirely possible that we will crash out of Europe as a result. Indeed, that seems the most likely outcome to me. And yet we still have no obvious political opposition.
Was Labour demanding parliament sit all this coming weekend to deal with this situation as yesterday’s fiasco unfurled? No, it wasn’t.
Was it demanding that emergency legislation be tabled now to address the issue? No, it wan’t.
Was it even very obviously backing one of the routes forward that the EU has offered, such as a second referendum? Again, no it wasn’t: it did not agree on that approach with the leaders of the four political parties that asked it to do so.
Has it published its own route through this crisis, saying what it wants to happen and when to prevent us crashing out? No, it hasn’t.
And whilst May has to take responsibility for this crisis, and nothing will prevent that being true, it has to be said that Labour’s failure to offer any coherent response to this is deeply disturbing. For it to keep talking about custom union variations right now is just absurd: the time for that passed a long time ago.
There are now five options. One is May’s deal. It is not going to happen, and needs an extension anyway, and none will be given for it.
The second is a People’s Vote, for which an extension would be given. And a second referendum might bring closure. I stress, might.
The third is a general election: Labour would lose and no party would get a majority. It is not a plan for Labour, or anything else.
Fourth is crash out, which will be a disaster if it happens. The scale of that is hard to guess, but it will be hideous.
And fifth is the one option available to us to which the EU cannot object, which is revocation. This could still be done next week.
And in the light of all that happens only one plan really makes sense, and that is revocation. And there is only one backstop, which is a People’s Vote.
Nothing else works now. The Tories are incapable. Labour could still claim some credit from this, when it has gained very little at present. If it was to offer a route through it could be seen as competent. But it has to say what it will do, and demand that parliament sit continuously now to deliver it, if it is to achieve any goal. And there is no sign it will do that.
In which case, crashing out, here we come.
Bring on economic suicide. It’s what our politicians apparently want for us.