Mandy Rhodes: Our Prime Minister tours the country in transit but not in power

Prime Minister Theresa May (Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty Images)

AS we tumble ever further down the rabbit hole of Brexit, it became front page news that one of Theresa May’s ministers was willing to publicly support her exit plan.

Well, sort of, if you squinted a little.

Our Prime Minister is, of course, on a nationwide tour to win over voters, instead of spending the little time she has left before the so-called “meaningful vote” in the House of Commons on December 11, winning over the MPs who will actually be doing the voting.

She landed in Scotland last week, as a fully-formed Brexit-braggart, on the very same day that the financial experts – from her next-door neighbour in Downing Street to the Bank of England – painted a doomsday scenario for any kind of exit from the EU.

And with the Treasury’s own analysis revealing that the UK economy would shrink under all versions of Brexit, including the PM’s, Philip Hammond said that it was “purely economic sense” that Britain would be poorer than if it was still in the EU.

So, with the prospect of Britain being plunged into the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, the PM embarked on a charm offensive, trying to persuade sceptical voters that her deal was in our best interests.

It took the EU27 just half an hour to agree and sign off May’s plan and while they pronounced it as “the best deal possible”, reading between the lines, that meant a good one was made all but impossible because of the PM’s red lines.

May is not a good negotiator, she is a very bad negotiator.

From triggering Article 50 too early, to agreeing a £50 billion exit fee at the outset, to laying down rigid no-goes, to gambling with the livelihoods of fishermen and casting off any real commitment to the stability of her “precious union”, she has failed, failed and failed again.

Of course, she must sound upbeat, that’s politics, but this Brexit deal is no victory, it is unashamed folly. It diminishes Britain and is nothing short of a national humiliation.

Remember how pain-free Brexiteers told us exiting the EU would be? That Brexit would simply be a hop, skip and a jump into the sunny uplands of global prosperity.

Now, faced with the catastrophic predictions, there’s simply no one of the real world pretending that this deal is anything other than an act of grievous self-harm.

And with support for Brexit falling, appeal for a People’s Vote growing, the Tory rebels failing to mount their promised coup, the prospect for a House of Commons defeat, a vote of no confidence in the PM, the dire economic forecasts, and with the March Brexit deadline looming, why, when there is still a choice, would we carry on delivering on a vote that means we’re all sunk?

A lifeline. This Tuesday, it is very likely that the European Court of Justice will give an opinion on the case brought by a cross-party group of six Scottish MPs, MEPs and MSPs that could revoke Article 50 and stop Brexit.

Theresa May appears to be a woman driven by a conviction rooted in public duty. Surely, then, for her, it is a more honourable act to press the button on pause than on self-destruct?

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