Leader comment: Replacing May will not solve the humiliation of Brexit

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AS Brexit continues to dominate our politics, we yearn for some calm heads, some measured voices that might find a workable solution to the problems now paralysing parliament. We long to hear common sense and compromise when, instead, the air thunders with hyperbole and meaningless assertions.

Yesterday arrived bearing detailed reports of a ploy to replace Theresa May with a “caretaker” Prime Minister who would bring together the House of Commons and deliver Brexit.

This plan throws up questions, not least what it is, precisely, the plotters think a replacement might be able to achieve.

EU leaders were scathing about the Prime Minister, last week, but they were equally angry with the Brexiteers whose campaign led us to this chaotic point. In this climate, do these May-must-go members of cabinet really think that sending someone new to the next summit in Brussels is going to create further concessions in the United Kingdom’s favour? If they do then, we fear, they are deluding themselves.

The idea that some Tory MPs might be persuaded to back Mrs May’s deal on the basis that she stands down sums up everything that’s wrong with our politics, right now. Anyone willing to make a decision affecting the long-term prosperity of the county on the basis of whether they or a crony might fulfil a short-term political ambition is not to be trusted.

Brexit may have been slightly delayed but the prospect of a damaging No Deal departure from the EU continues to loom large on the horizon. The country neither needs nor can afford the added distraction of Conservative MPs jostling to replace the Prime Minister.

Mrs May has already made it clear that she does not intend to lead the Tories into the next General Election. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Dominic Raab (among others, we are sure) will have their chance to pitch for the premiership soon enough.

If, as appears to be the case, Government and Parliament are to remain deadlocked on the question of Brexit, it seems clear to us that the only solution is for a second referendum to proceed.

Brexit has turned the United Kingdom into an international laughing stock. Simply replacing Theresa May as Prime Minister will not solve the problems that brought us to this humiliating place.