T’S checkmate, folks – Brexit MPs are outflanked and outmanoeuvred.
Brussels has Leave-voting Britain by the short hairs.
The choice is between Theresa May’s ghastly Brino — Brexit In Name Only — or a long and agonising delay as the EU decides how to punish us for daring to try to leave at all.
Either way, this great country is about to raise the white flag in surrender.
No Deal, they’ve decided, is off the table.
If DUP MPs sign up to the backstop, Brexiteers will vote at last for the Chequers deal they loathe and which has twice been blown a gigantic raspberry from all sides.
It is a monstrous choice as a Remain-dominated Tory Government kisses goodbye to voters who returned them to power in 2015.
Reuters In a party where loyalty counts above all, support for Mrs May has evaporate
For Mrs May personally, it will prove a poisonous triumph.
She might believe we just want Brexit over and done with so we can get back to work and start healing broken friendships.
But the celebrations will be short-lived.
The 52 per cent who voted Out in 2016 are likely to experience “buyers’ remorse” as the consequences of peace at any price sink in.
Once they realise Brino Britain is worse than if we’d voted Remain, voters will turn savagely on the Tories.’DENIED DEMOCRACY’
Retribution is already on the way as Nigel Farage leads his potent new Brexit Party on the Long
March south from Leave-voting Sunderland and the North East.
It was Farage’s Ukip whose stunning success in the 2014 EU elections forced then Tory leader David Cameron to offer a referendum in the first place.
Getty Images – Getty Retribution is already on the way as Nigel Farage leads his potent new Brexit Party on the LongMarch south from Leave-voting Sunderland and the North East
It was Farage’s Ukip voters who swarmed to the Conservatives in 2015 and now feel betrayed.
And it will be Farage who mops up Tory votes again — either in the May town hall elections or, more sensationally, in the EU Parliament poll we must fight if Chequers goes down a third time.
The rot has already set in. The Tories, who should be the Real Brexit Party, need a new leader — fast.
You will take the highest blame of all, as you alone will be remembered as the Prime Minister who denied democracy
In a party where loyalty counts above all, support for Mrs May has evaporated. “I can’t even bear to watch her on TV,” says a lifelong member.
When asked at a meeting of 150 constituency members last week, not one voted for her to stay.
Dozens of local Tory associations have written to No10 warning she will be held “personally responsible” for failing to deliver Brexit on March 29 as promised.
“You will take the highest blame of all, as you alone will be remembered as the Prime Minister who denied democracy,” they say.
Her plea for “patriotism” in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph was swamped by furious readers accusing her of betraying Britain.
‘MEN IN GREY SUITS’
Tory MPs believe Mrs May’s Brino deal was entirely dictated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Nobody trusts her,” says a senior figure. Remainers might try to persuade the PM to dig in. But their time is up, too.
Pro-EU rebels face no- confidence votes. Ex-minister Nick Boles has already stepped aside before he is pushed.
There must soon be a leadership election, triggered by a Cabinet revolt or an ultimatum from the famous “men in grey suits”.
Reuters Tory MPs believe Mrs May’s Brino deal was entirely dictated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel
This time it will be the party, not MPs, who choose a successor. The next Tory leader will therefore be a Brexiteer.
“There must be two names on the final list,” says an ex-Cabinet minister.
“One will have to be a Leaver, or it will split the party. And the party won’t vote for a Remainer.”
Boris Johnson or ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab are current favourites but the field is open.
None of the present Cabinet — including Remain-voting Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid — stand a chance with EU-hostile party members.
CommentLORRAINE KELLY Maddie McCann could be found thanks to shock Netflix documentary CommentJAMES FORSYTH MPs have 10 days to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal or calamity strikes CommentKARREN BRADY You’re in for a treat with Celebrity Apprentice — it’s worth the ten-year wait CommentTHE SUN ON SUNDAY SAYS Dithering MPs must unite over Brexit for the sake of our country CommentROBERT HALFON It’s MPs’ duty to vote for PM’s Brexit deal — it’s the only reasonable option OWEN PATERSON If May delivers Brexit in full and on time she’ll win back Tory MPs’ loyalty
And Chancellor Philip Hammond can start looking for a job in the City.
A new Prime Minister will inevitably call a General Election within months — by which time the EU itself could be in crisis with a new Commission and populist parties rampant in Brussels.
So, checkmate deferred, perhaps?
Splash News Boris Johnson Boris is a current favourite to become next Tory leader but the field is open
New commemorative 50p Brexit Coin has the wrong date on it now that Brexit is delayed