It’s been obvious from the beginning of negotiations that the ruling classes on both sides of the English Channel don’t want Britain to leave the EU, but they’ve been so incompetent they haven’t even managed to engineer a solution which works in their favour. Instead, Theresa May is reduced to simply putting her deal to the vote again and again, like a monster at the finale of a horror film which has sustained so much damage all it can do is repeat its stock phrase before finally expiring.
My prediction is the EU won’t budge on the backstop, May’s deal won’t pass on the fourth or even fifth attempt, and those in charge will simply say “Well, we’re just not gonna leave.” This is pretty much where we are already: if they were going to let Britain leave, we’d have been out last Friday. In my experience, arrogant technocrats will attempt to put a veneer of propriety on their decisions but ultimately they’re content to just do whatever is most convenient for them, principles be damned. The only reason to try to ram May’s deal through is to give the ruling classes a flimsy excuse for their actions, but it’s not going to make any difference. Britain might well end up leaving the EU this year – perhaps after a general election – but it won’t be as an end result of the farce that’s playing out now. The conclusion of that was decided an awful long time ago; what’s changed is now everyone can see that.