I remember playing the mad slave, Lucky, in our school production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, but I just can’t remember how it all ended (nor even whether or not it did.) I feel a bit like slave Lucky in the current production of Waiting for Brexit. But I am just beginning to think that we may be nearing the denouement.
A gang of Ministers had threatened their resignations this week, and a trio of junior ministers (one of them very local to here) had penned an article in the Daily Mail disagreeing with Government policy on the matter, in an astonishing breach of Ministerial collective responsibility. In any normal times, that would without doubt have resulted in their immediate sacking.
In these volatile times, that ministerial disobedience, even defiance, resulted in the PM finally agreeing to their demands. Mrs May was forced to announce that she would allow Parliamentary votes on 12/13/14 March respectively: on her Deal, on taking No Deal off the table, and on the (?Indefinite) extension of Article 50. That would be truly Waiting for Brexit….
So what’s next? Well, I can only hope that Mrs May is able to persuade the European Union to make sufficient changes to the current draft deal to allow people like me to support her and her deal on Tuesday 12th March. We need at very least some kind of binding agreement that the Irish Backstop will not under any circumstances lead to our permanent membership of any kind of Customs Union, and giving us the unilateral right to walk away from it. If the PM and Attorney General can come up with some such concession from the EU, then the consecutive votes which she has announced will strongly tempt me towards voting for her Deal on 12th March.
I will not be happy doing so, and know that I will be disappointing my Brexit supporters, and probably not really satisfying Remain supporters either. But just think about it: if on 12th March the Commons were to vote against her Deal as amended, then on 13th they will certainly find a majority in favour of stopping No Deal, and on 14th they will extend the Waiting for Brexit Game into the dim distant future. So I am beginning to move towards thinking that if we can extract some binding concession from the EU, then holding my nose and crossing my fingers, I will vote to support her Deal, warts and all. It’s a Bad Deal, but is very probably better than No Brexit at all.
Slave Lucky and his Masters, Vladimir and Estragon just cannot go on like this. We cannot extend the division and rancour which has surrounded the Brexit debate in recent months. Most businesses and private citizens alike wanted to see an end to these proceedings and to know what the outcome is. Supporting the PM on 12th March - albeit reluctantly -may well be the only way of finding an end to Waiting for Brexit.