Ian Dunt makes the following prediction about Theresa May:
“She is going to ask for a short (one-off) extension – probably a couple of months – then refuse to take part in the European elections. July 1st then becomes the cliff-edge-which-cannot-be-moved.”
He goes on to argue that our only hope of staving off a cliff-edge Brexit is to demand that our MPs insist on the UK’s participation in May’s (as in, the month’s) elections. However, the EU is unlikely to accede. As one of the EU negotiators said, they don’t want another 75 Farages turning up. They’re already going to be swamped by Salvinis, Le Pens, AFDs, Voxes and all the rest.
If there were EU elections in the UK, Remainers would have to swarm the polling stations, but who would we even vote for, in the face of a (presumably) concerted, and well-funded, and typically manipulative effort on the part of UKIP, Farage’s grouposcule and extremist Tories? It’s tempting to think that no-deal supporting Leavers would be too dozy to turn out in huge numbers, but it’s not a given, and in any case it probably ain’t gonna happen.
At some point, with a one-off extension in place and no time left to hold a second referendum, the notion of a people’s vote will lose its rationale. Then we will, as Dunt says, be totally at the mercy of May and her psychotic devotion to her deal. This is and has been for a while a hostage situation, with a no deal exit her suicide belt.
I think it’s fair to say that at this point most people want Brexit to be over and done with, whatever that may mean. A mixture of that with the general ignorance/denial of what no deal entails partly explains why Rees-Mogg et al are still given credence. Thus, the People’s Vote campaign, Another Europe is Possible, and all the other pressure groups need to change tack and start demanding the revoking of Article 50. This needs to be backed up by massive demonstrations of civil disobedience after the exemplary fashion of the Extension Rebellion protests, along with properly funded and designed publicity campaigns pushing the message that Brexit has been tried and (thanks to the incompetence of the Tories in Government and the dishonesty and malice of those outside who never had a plan for it to succeed) failed.
A reversal of the decision was what many of us called for in the immediate wake of the vote, which just had the effect of hardening the resolve of Brexit voters; it’s now almost three years later and the only available form of Brexit is universally unpopular – despite what Labour said yesterday in its futile and dishonest pursuit of a fairy tale outcome, May’s deal is the only ‘credible leave option’. Meanwhile, the economy is already falling to pieces, the climate crisis emergency breakdown collapse is proving to be even more of an urgent priority than appeasing Nigel Farage, and pretty much everyone is exhausted at the very mention of the B word.
Of course, it will be a huge struggle to get the Labour leadership on board, given that they’ve only just grudgingly accepted the intractability of the situation, but at this point, or at least very soon, we will collectively reach a point of general recognition of the futility of the whole exercise. This is why the message ‘Brexit has failed’, with fingers clearly pointed at those who told us the whole process would be easy as (Woolton) pie, is our only chance of preventing Rees-Mogg et al from doing what they intended to do all along, ie use this as a pretext for seizing power on behalf of a version of Conservativism so bigoted, repressive and elitist its difference from fascism is sort of moot.