By Sunday evening, I feel the need to describe what is happening in order to understand it, if only for myself.
We watched the debate in the House of Commons yesterday. To give him his due, Boris Johnson struck a slightly more conciliatory note, trying to unite the House and the country behind his new, but actually mostly old, Brexit deal. The problem is that his camp Churchillian manner doesn’t work. He has made too many enemies. There are enemies behind him, stabbing him in the back as well as massed enemies in front of him, not to forget the DUP. The front bench looks like a group of pantomime villains, retirees from a sitcom about the 1950s, behaving as if they have the support of the country, when it’s increasingly obvious they don’t, with 2 million people massed in Parliament Square outside.
So what happens now ? They put the bill back to the House and maybe it will pass with the help of Labour MPs who will ignore the forensic analysis of Keir Starmer as to the direction of political travel and the abrogation of workers’ rights. But how unsatisfactory that will be, hated by so many, no-one prepared to pretend that it is to the economic benefit of the country. An election, which the Conservatives might win with only 36% of the vote ? Another referendum ? Even I don’t believe that this will heal the divisions which have opened up, and deepened, in the country. But what else will do ?