In the latest Brexit bulletin – and, yes, if only we could all shut up about it – Theresa May yesterday sleepwalked through a nightmare. She woke from her somnambulist Salzburg shuffle to find herself standing naked before a line of pointing EU leaders.
Her lack of clothes in Austria was symbolic rather than real, but she was still left shivering. Spitting feathers too, and where she got those feathers from is anyone’s guess.
The massed rejection of her Chequers plan has put the Brexiteers in a foul tizzy. They are especially narked by Emmanuel Macron, the French president. This is because he said: “Brexit is the choice of the British people…pushed by those who predicted easy solutions…Those people are liars.”
Transport secretary Chris Grayling stepped in to rebuff Macron and support Mrs Maybe. And if Failing Grayling is your ‘first responder’, you know you are deep in the smelly stuff.
Whatever you think of Macron, and he does seem to be the sort of vaguely sinister smoothie you wouldn’t want to swallow for breakfast, he is telling the truth here. Undiplomatic, for sure. But many of those who voted for Brexit were flogged a lie; the Brexit brigands told us it would be a piece of cake, topped off with over-the-rainbow icing. A doddle, nothing to it.
Instead we are caught with a losing hand in a slow-motion game of poker. Theresa May keeps dropping her cards. She goes in with her poker face, that familiar nervous twitch, and they all spot her game straight away.
The pro-Brexit papers are furious about the Salzburg stitch-up, with the Sun choosing to represent Mrs Maybe’s humiliation with an old gangster movie pun: “EU DIRTY RATS.”
That one seems to be straining at the stitches, but there you go.
The thing is – and what a lot of ‘things’ there have been, an endless conga-dancing line of ‘things’ – we did get ourselves into this mess. And we have six months to drag ourselves out of the self-made mire.
But you can hand one accolade to Theresa May’s Chequers deal: it’s a brilliantly unifying solution as almost everybody on all sides is united in hating it.
The details of her solution are now besides the point; something to do with “facilitated customs arrangements” and a “common rulebook” – words to send most people into a terminal doze, but enough for that Brexit tap-dancing duo of David Davis and Boris Johnson to resign.
That’s your lot. No more words today. How many more Brexit words can there be? To choose another games metaphor, this is turning into the slowest, crappest game of Scrabble ever.