I was rooting for President Macron this week. If MPs cannot sort out Brexit in six weeks, they are no more likely to do so in six months so why prolong the agony for ourselves or for the EU?
Minds could have been concentrated which is certainly not happening as the legislators waltz off on a fortnight’s holiday with all thoughts about the real-world implications of further delay consigned to a flickering back-burner.
There are essentially three camps. Those who accept the result and want to make the best of it. Those who do not accept the result and see a second vote as the way of overturning it. Those who cling to hope of a no-deal exit and will settle for nothing less, even if they lose the lot.
Among the second referendum brigade, some talk unconvincingly about “compromise” while pompously asserting “red lines”. Loosely translated, this means they are not interested in compromise and will always find a reason to block it.
Unless there is movement between these three columns, we will be in exactly the same place after six months. The tedious recycling of old speeches in the Commons on Thursday suggests there is little such prospect. It all looks like a big game, wholly divorced from reality. European elections will probably throw up a new Europhobe voting block and an honourable if limited Prime Minister will be replaced by a more right-wing one. Can opposition parties point to anything more positive as a result of their endeavours?
I wonder if any tribune of the Scottish people has asked businesses in their constituencies if they would prefer MPs to carry on as at present – or accept the best available deal and get on with it? I suspect they would hate the answer, so better not to ask.