This morning’s Guardian page had two headlines directly parallel to each other. One had Jeremy Hunt saying that voting against May’s deal made no deal Brexit more likely; the other said that Hunt claimed the recent votes in the Commons made no Brexit at all happening much more likely. As you may have noticed, a no deal Brexit and no Brexit at all cannot co-exist and are in fact the very opposite of each other. You may have also noted that the chances of both happening cannot be going up at once. In the end, only one of Hunt’s assertions can be correct.
The government needs to convince both Brexiteers and Remainers that if they don’t vote for May’s deal, the thing they want to happen, be it Brexit on any terms or no deal Brexit being avoided, becomes less likely. The tactic thus far has been to preach both possibilities, as if one side could only hear the plea being made to their side while being deaf to the one made to the opposing group. As you probably could have figured out from the start, both sides can hear everything.
This has led to the current situation, with May facing down a likely massive defeat on her deal. By trying to bring both parties into the fold, she appears to have repulsed both.
For the record, I think the Remainers are correct here, not the Brexiteers: May just does not strike me as someone willing to go through with no deal. I think she’d even rather revoke Article 50 and quit than throw the country over the edge of the cliff. If you doubt this, look at her every move since becoming prime minister. It is obvious she has always seen no deal Brexit as Armageddon. The having 89 lorries line up in Kent farce only underlines this.
It looks like the government will lose next week. What happens next, I still have no idea.