It was what she said very recently on her trip to Scotland to see Nicola that convinced me: Theresa intends to kick this into the long grass. I mean the 2020 long grass. That my previous assumption that she would just settle the whole matter via some sort of quick, Norway style EEA deal was looking less likely. This is because if she does any kind of deal at all, she’ll be screwed. So she’s looking for ways to draw the whole thing out as long as possible.
“I have already said that I won’t be triggering Article 50 until I think that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations – I think it is important that we establish that before we trigger Article 50.”
She must know there is no such thing as a “UK approach” to Brexit – Sturgeon has said that “Remain means Remain” for Scotland as far as she is concerned.
This set alongside the Johnson-Davis-Fox trio that is looking to negotiate this whole thing and some sort of possible plan starts to take shape. Davis has said some extremely embarrassing things about Brexit already (the “we’ll negotiate with separate EU countries” comment was particularly hide behind the sofa worthy), while Fox resembles the cockney character in “Killing Zoe” – his being excited beyond belief mindset appearing to be a precursor to being shot to pieces.
I wouldn’t blame May for this – Article 50 is arranged in such a way as to essentially amount to an economic suicide note for anyone who triggers it. If this is so, how does May intend to deal with fallout from the Eurosceptics both inside and outside her party? Perhaps this is how she is most like Dave: think of the fudge that works for the moment and worry about the future when it comes.
There is, of course, an alternative way to look at all this. Perhaps May is resigned to losing the Union but wants to appear like she really tried first. And that the Johnson-Davis-Fox thing is just a way of allowing the Brexit bunch to screw it all up royally so that she can ride in later with the grown ups and demonstrate that Brexit really does mean Brexit.