Theresa May’s staunch allegiance to her awful deal is just an attempt to spin the historical narrative in her favour.
She wants the history books to read that the benevolent and hardworking Conservative leader fought desperately to make a success of Brexit but then she was beaten back by the power grabbing Labour opposition.
The Prime Minister wants the awkward Abba dance moves and her perceived incompetence to fade from the electorate’s minds.
We may just forget that the whole time Theresa May was neither a remainer nor a brexiteer – but a career politician taking every tactical step to appease the Tory voters.
Sure May quietly backed the Remain camp, after a bloated period of umming and ahing – but ever since her appointment, the PM has made every indication that she is not in favour of remaining.
Her rhetoric fresh after her ascendancy was bullish and patriotic in its regard. She preached a “Red, White and Blue” Brexit and infamously stated that “Brexit means Brexit.”
Since then there has been no transparency on the process and it has led to utter ruin. This hot mess has all been a construct of Theresa May’s lack of conviction and desperation to cling to power.
The reveal of the withdrawal bill has so far been like a hideous episode of Naked Attraction.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab stormed off his shaky plinth as soon as the 500-page document emerged – bringing along with him a rag tag of other ministers.
Jacob Rees-Mogg threw his wad out too early with the failed coup, losing all the ERG’s commanding presence.
After the Bank of England’s damning economic forecast that the pound could fall by a quarter and there would be an immediate dip in the UK economy by 8%, Philip Hammond admitted that his coffers would be a “little bit smaller” than if they’d just remained.
The government’s refusal to release the cabinet legal advice on the PM’s deal, sparked further furore from the House.
On Monday, the attorney general Geffrey Cox came in to the limelight, making a historic appearance in the house – fielding questions – confirming the UK would remain under the EU’s thumb “indefinitely” if they didn’t allow us to pull out of the Irish backstop.
“It’s a trap!” shouted a raucous Tory MP in response – amplifying the drama.
The majority of the House grew sick of the Government’s refusal to release the legal advice and voted them in contempt of parliament. The legal advice is going to be published (but I’m holding out on the historical punishment that the cabinet will be detained in the Tower of London).
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve has attempted to patch up the bill’s inevitable loss with a successful amendment that ensured that the Government must “make a statement setting out how Her Majesty’s government proposes to proceed” to the House within 21 days if the bill’s vote fails on the 11th of December – making May’s position of ‘my deal or no deal’ position even less decisive.
This chaotic episode has come from May’s relentless insistence that her deal is the best thing since sliced bread. Which goes against new-found supporter Michael Gove’s contradictory statement on The Andrew Marr Show, that “it’s not perfect” – which isn’t an entirely persuasive argument to make in its favour.
May’s lack of principle has proven that she will do anything – even lead the country off a cliff edge – if it means that she will remain in the top spot.
The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Mancunian Matters.