You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

90% of Britons agree - Brexit is a national humiliation, and Theresa May continues to get it wrong

The i logo The i 20/03/2019 Oliver Duff
a person in a dark room © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Wednesday did not feel much like the International Day of Happiness in Westminster.

The word “brinkmanship” is no longer sufficient to describe the stand-off between Europe, the House of Commons and the Prime Minister. Many less polite words are suggested.

I’ll have another consonant and six asterisks please Carole.

Video: Brexit: What happens next after Theresa May requests Article 50 extension? (Press Association)


After voting for Brexit, our inability 1,001 days later to decide which flavour we will pursue, and the dismal failures of leadership in Westminster, have become a national humiliation.

Indeed, 90 per cent of the British public believe that the Government’s handling of negotiations is a national humiliation, according to new polling for Sky Data.

Brexit in-depth: All the latest news, analysis and expert opinion

Seven per cent believe it to be a triumph, while the other three per cent still live in caves and eat bark.

a statue of a person in a red shirt: Pro-Brexit activists hold placards as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament [Getty Images] © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd Pro-Brexit activists hold placards as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament [Getty Images]

Alienating MPs

Theresa May, meanwhile, has transcended irony by accusing the House of Commons of “spending endless hours contemplating its navel on Europe”.

While Jeremy Corbyn was wrong to walk out of Wednesday night’s Downing Street meeting – it was a stunt unbecoming a political leader during a national crisis – there is now little attempt by Mrs May to reach out across the political divide.

By blaming MPs, she has simply entrenched their positions. On the face of it, this was a gross political miscalculation.

Theresa May posing for the camera: Prime Minister, Theresa May [Getty Images] © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd Prime Minister, Theresa May [Getty Images]

No-deal Brexit more likely

Tory Leavers believe the chance of no Brexit has receded, so have less incentive to vote for Mrs May’s deal.

She needs Labour votes to compensate for the rebels on her own benches.

Brussels meanwhile is relatively comfortable taking this one to the wire – to an emergency summit as late as Thursday or Friday next week, with hours to go. For the EU, the risk is divided 27 ways.

Gallery: 'Brexit Betrayal' march (Reuters)

Fundamental problems

A new prime minister will not change fundamental truths about Brexit.

Europe will be unwilling to let us cherrypick from its four freedoms (goods, services, capital, people).

The EU will demand a price for preferential trading access. We will continue to want close trading and cultural relationships with our continental cousins.

Yet it is difficult to see how this prime minister can heal rather than widen the rifts in our politics.


More from The i

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon