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"News from the Brexit Cliff Edge" 24th Apr 2019

News Highlights

Welcome to the Brexit Cliff Edge

Tories no longer have an economic vision and they are in trouble

  • David Smith, Economics Editor of The Sunday Times, says the Tories Brexit obsession means they no longer view the economy through an economic lens but through a moral one. These are the moments in history where the Conservative Party have been badly defeated at the ballot box

May's immigration plans could lead to 25% of the NHS services being shut down

British companies are planning to stockpile goods to cover themselves for Christmas, in the event of a No Deal Halloween Brexit

Customs union plans will sell British cities short - according to Centre for Cities think tank

  • Failure to preserve frictionless access to the EU for leading service industries would risk a sharp fall in trade, posing a threat to jobs across dozens of urban areas, the think tank warned. British cities export services worth £78bn each year, such as insurance and legal advice to EU countries. A third of all exports from Edinburgh, Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff and London come from companies selling services to the EU. A goods only trade arrangement would hit the economic prosperity of many cities

Change UK announces its slate of candidates for the European elections

Scottish First minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to unveil the SNP's Scottish independence plans

Climate Change rises up the political agenda once more

Theresa May invites Trump on state visit, with clear intention of pushing a UK-U.S trade deal forward

Fourth time lucky?

Theresa May's Brexit 'Red Lines' have never budged

Labour is playing for time in the Brexit talks

Farage banking on his success halting broader push for a second referendum

Farage refuses to publish a Brexit Party manifesto until after the European Election

50 MPs from seven parties join forces on issues ignored because of Brexit

Insular Britain told it is losing influence in Washington

  • The outgoing French ambassador to Washington, Gerard Araud, said that as the Brexit has progressed, the British have vanished from the U.S. political lobbying circuit. The impression in Washington now is of a country that is increasingly insular and obsessed with Brexit
Economic Impact
No 'duty of care' rule for financial firms for now - UK watchdog
Britain’s markets watchdog has ruled out a new “duty of care” protection for consumers for the time being, saying it will focus instead on revising existing rules. Regulation is also coming under the spotlight as backers of Britain’s departure from the European Union say that Brexit is an opportunity to cut “red tape” on financial firms to keep London competitive as a global financial centre. “We know that consumer harm can be caused by different things, so there is unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all solution to any weaknesses in consumer protection,” the FCA said.
Tories no longer have an economic vision — and they are in trouble
It would be easy to see all this as consequences purely of Brexit and Theresa May. Without Brexit, there would have been no May premiership and no shift towards the dominance of the Home Office view of the world, with the Treasury consequently diminished. Brexit has claimed all the government’s bandwidth and left little time for anything else. “The government gives the impression that it sees its job as to form a moral view on the economy and deploy the law against the bad bits — as soon as it can work out what those are . . . The extent to which this government sees the economy not through an economic prism but through a moral one seems remarkable.”
Administrative Fall Out
Theresa May warned her post-Brexit immigration strategy could close quarter of NHS services
NHS executives have described Theresa May’s post-Brexit immigration strategy as the “most destructive policy proposal for NHS recruitment” amid fears it could force some hospitals to close “25 per cent of services”, The Telegraph can disclose. Senior health officials have claimed the Government’s proposals for a £30,000 salary threshold on workers moving to the UK is “appalling” and could jeopardise efforts to attract the 50,000 nurses required by the health service. The Telegraph has been leaked the minutes and a transcript of a high-level meeting between NHS and Whitehall officials in January, which lays bare the opposition to Mrs May’s flagship immigration policy.
Brexit could 'shut a QUARTER of hospital services, leaked NHS warning reveals'
Top NHS officials have reportedly warned that Theresa May's immigration plans post-Brexit could shutter "25 per cent" of services in some hospitals. NHS executives described the plans as the “most destructive policy proposal for NHS recruitment” and could cause chaos in hospitals across the UK. Documents leaked to The Daily Telegraph show that NHS chiefs met senior civil servants in January to share their fears. Among their concerns were fears that a proposed rule which would stop people who would earn less than £30,000 moving to the UK could make it more difficult to fill empty nursing posts.
British companies are planning to stockpile for the 'nightmare' of a Christmas time no-deal Brexit
British companies are already making plans to stockpile for a no-deal Brexit on October 31. They are concerned that the UK could leave the European Union without a deal in the run-up to Christmas time, when demand for many goods — including food, clothes and medicine — rockets. One of the UK's biggest beer companies is set to stockpile "two or three times as much" as it did in the run-up to March 29, a figure involved told Business Insider. British businesses have already spent billions of pounds on no-deal planning.
Political Shenanigans
Rachel Johnson and Gavin Esler to stand for Change UK
The anti-Brexit party Change UK has launched its European elections campaign, revealing a slate of 70 candidates that includes Boris Johnson’s sister, seasoned politicians disillusioned with their parties, and people completely new to politics. Rachel Johnson said she was standing to make sure Brexit did not wreck the chances of a bright future for her children and other young people, and that her decision to stand was not an attack on her Brexiter brother. Johnson, a writer and journalist who will stand in south-west England, did not speak from the stage at the launch event in Bristol but said afterwards: “I’m sure that Boris understands why this is not a vote against Boris. This is a vote for change. We need to move the dial. People need to have a say.”
Nicola Sturgeon set to unveil party’s Scottish independence plans
Nicola Sturgeon is being urged to “take independence off the table” as she prepares to make a statement in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday on her plans for a second referendum. The SNP leader will make a “detailed and substantive” address to MSPs on Wednesday afternoon on Scotland’s future in light of the Brexit turmoil and set out her thinking on the staging of a second independence referendum, which she has pledged to hold. “The First Minister will give a detailed and substantive statement, setting out a path forward for Scotland amid the ongoing Brexit confusion at Westminster,” a spokesman for the SNP leader said. “The First Minister will take time to set out her thoughts on that front and, in doing so, she will seek to strike an inclusive tone.”
Greta Thunberg: Teen activist says UK is 'irresponsible' on climate
Teenage activist Greta Thunberg has described the UK's response to climate change as "beyond absurd". In a speech to MPs, the Swedish 16-year-old criticised the UK for supporting new exploitation of fossil fuels and exaggerating cuts to carbon emissions. She was invited to Westminster after inspiring the school climate strikes movement. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said "we have not done nearly enough". In her speech in Parliament on Tuesday, Miss Thunberg said the UK was supporting shale gas fracking, greater exploitation of North Sea oil and gas fields and expanding airports. "This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind," she said. She also described the UK's carbon emissions reduction as the result of "very creative" accounting. The country's reported 37% reduction in emissions since 1990 was only 10% when aviation, shipping, imports and exports were counted, she said.
Swedish teen accuses UK of 'irresponsible behaviour' over climate
Britain’s opposition leaders met Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday to discuss what the teenager calls an “existential crisis” for humanity. After months of Brexit tumult, climate change has leapt back up Britain’s political agenda due to protests that closed some of London’s traffic arteries. Thunberg, who rose to global prominence by staging a school strike to protest about the climate, has praised the “Extinction Rebellion” sits-ins in London. The police have arrested 1,065 people and charged 71 in connection with the Extinction Rebellion protests that targeted Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge and other parts of London.
Climate change: Miliband says UK should declare emergency
Ed Miliband has called on the energy minister to persuade Theresa May to declare a “climate emergency” in the UK. The former Labour leader asked Claire Perry about the Extinction Rebellion protests in London over the last week, saying it was "no wonder" activists were taking such a stand given the seriousness of the threat. Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg was watching from the public gallery in the Commons.
'You did not act in time': Greta Thunberg's full speech to MPs
Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%. And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.
What the Papers Don’t Say about Extinction Rebellion
Much of XR's resilience is due to its decentralised collection of autonomous Affinity Groups of about 12 activists, based on the Spanish Civil War model. They follow a three-stage process of action, reflection and rest. In practice, this means that activists can create their own groups and decide their own actions as long as they follow XR’s Ten Principles and sense check with another group. Of course, these groups do work together for larger actions, but they do this as equals. This means that XR itself is like a living organism and much more sustainable than previous activist groups.
Donald Trump's state visit to the UK set for 3 June
Mrs May said June's state visit was an "opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead". But shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry voiced concerns about the visit, saying: "It beggars belief that on the very same day Donald Trump is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution against the use of rape as a weapon of war, Theresa May is pressing ahead with her plans to honour him with a state visit to the UK."
Nick Thomas-Symonds: "Brexit has produced a more assertive parliament"
Like his political hero, Nye Bevan, Nick Thomas-Symonds hails from the South Wales Valleys. From excelling at school to a successful career as a barrister, his trajectory has always been upwards. Now shadow solicitor general, does the 38-year-old have higher ambitions? He talks to Sebastian Whale
Chuka Umunna: European elections are a chance to tell Parliament what Britain really wants
At Change UK — The Independent Group, the new party of former Labour and Conservative MPs which started life just a few weeks ago, we have a different view. We welcome these elections as a chance for the British people to send an unequivocal message to the political establishment: we want the final say on Brexit and we want to remain in the European Union.
Theresa May could abandon talks with Labour and hold a FOURTH Commons vote on her Brexit deal next week instead
As cross party talks to pass the EU agreement began again yesterday after the Easter break, frustrated Mrs May accused Labour of dragging its feet. No10 is considering trying to speed up the process by asking Parliament to ratify the Brussels deal anyway by introducing the Withdrawal Agreement Bill that enshrines it in law. Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom were among several senior ministers who lobbied the PM for the emergency move during a meeting of her top table yesterday. It would be high risk without any newly-established majority ready to support it.
Election interference is 'online harm', MPs hear
Adverts using disinformation to influence elections is a "significant online harm" needing urgent action from the government, MPs have been told. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham spoke to a parliamentary committee looking at disinformation. She said that she was surprised that a recent government White Paper on online harms had failed to address the issue of political adverts online. It was "a gap" that needed to be addressed, she said. "I was surprised and disappointed that there wasn't more focus on what I think is a huge societal harm, which is around electoral interference and the need for more transparency in political advertising."It's surprising to me and concerning that the government hasn't done a comprehensive examination of political advertising and the oversight that's needed in this space."
Labour says Theresa May unwilling to offer key Brexit concessions
Labour has accused Theresa May of failing to offer any substantive changes to her Brexit deal in cross-party talks, as Downing Street’s hopes of a breakthrough in time to avoid taking part in European parliamentary elections waned. Brexit talks resumed on Tuesday between a team of ministers and shadow ministers. But Labour sources said the government team again appeared unwilling to countenance changes to the political declaration, which sets out the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Instead, ministers offered alternative ways of giving reassurance about the issues Labour has raised, such as on environmental standards and workers’ rights, including through redrafting the withdrawal act implementation bill (WAB) and tweaking separate planned government bills.
Brexit: Calls for progress on cross-party deal talks
The government says "progress needs to be made urgently" on Brexit talks with Labour - but that arranging time with the opposition has been "difficult". Senior figures from both sides have been trying to break the deadlock by agreeing a Brexit deal MPs can support. No 10 said talks had "been difficult in some areas", including "timetabling". But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the government "really needs to move on" and change its Brexit agreement to solve the impasse. He said: "We cannot go on hearing this tired old mantra that the Brexit agreement has to be adhered to." The deal Theresa May negotiated with the EU has been rejected twice by Parliament, with the withdrawal agreement - the terms on how the UK leaves the bloc, rather than its future relationship with it - defeated a further time.
Tory Remainers desperately try to cobble together a ‘stop Boris’ plan to stop Johnson running away with Tory leadership contest
Former Foreign Secretary is a clear favourite among member to be new leader. So moderate Tories are plotting to vote tactically to force him out of race he is leading, Mr Johnson is backed by 33% in new poll on influential Conservative Home website. His rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent with Michael Gove next on eight per cent. Three out of five Tory voters to back Farage's Brexit Party at European elections
Brexit: Theresa May accuses Labour of dragging its heels in talks to find compromise
No 10 goes public on fears that Jeremy Corbyn does not share a desire to avoid next month’s European elections. The criticism is striking because it is the first time the government has turned on Labour since approaching the opposition three weeks ago. Until now, it has been Mr Corbyn’s party that has blamed the prime minister for the lack of progress, accusing her of refusing to shift on her red lines – in particular, membership of a customs union.
Nigel Farage claims his new Brexit Party could 'stop a second referendum'
Speaking at an event in Westminster, Mr Farage said: “Leavers have to get themselves mentally prepared that there could be a second referendum. “Rather than just saying it is never going to happen.” He added: “It seems to me that the better the Brexit Party does on 23 May, the less chance there is of the people of this great country being insulted by being made to vote again.
Theresa May Tries To Blame Labour For Brexit Deadlock As Euro Elections Loom
Theresa May has tried to blame Jeremy Corbyn for the continuing deadlock over Brexit, suggesting that Labour is happier than the Tories to contest the coming Euro elections. As cross-party talks between government and the opposition restarted on Monday, the prime minister hit out at Corbyn with her clearest warning yet that he was deliberately trying to slow down the negotiations. And in a sign of fresh tensions on both sides, the Labour leader accused May of “regurgitating” failed plans that had been rejected three times by parliament.
Theresa May plans new Commons Brexit vote in high-stakes move
Mr Corbyn told the BBC that the government “really does need to move on” and change Mrs May’s deal for there to be any hope of a breakthrough in the talks. “We cannot go on hearing this tired old mantra that the Brexit agreement has to be adhered to,” he said, signalling that Labour would not vote for the withdrawal treaty unless there was an understanding with the government on future ties with the EU. Approval for the legislation on the exit treaty would kick off a tortuous passage through parliament during which the bill could be amended. Attempts to add a customs union — which is at the heart of Mr Corbyn’s demands — or a second referendum would be expected.
Join the Remain alliance, urges Change UK at Euro election launch
Change UK has launched its campaign for the European Parliamentary elections, with 70 candidates including journalist Rachel Johnson - sister of Tory MP and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson. The party - formerly known as The Independent Group - is made up of 11 MPs who quit Labour and the Tories. They are preparing for the European election as the latest Brexit delay means the UK may have to take part. Change UK are a pro-Remain party who back another referendum on Brexit. Ms Johnson, who was most recently a member of the Liberal Democrats, said: "I'm sure that Boris understands why this is not a vote against Boris. "This is a vote for change. We need to move the dial. People need to have a say." Interim leader Heidi Allen told the event in Bristol: "These elections are a chance to send the clearest possible message - we demand a People's Vote and the right to campaign to remain in the European Union. We are not afraid to say it as clearly as that.
What will happen next with Brexit now MPs are back in Westminster?
Cross-party talks to break the deadlock will resume this week but a solution to the current crisis seems a long way off
50 MPs From Seven Parties Join Forces On ‘Issues Ignored Because Of Brexit’
More than 50 MPs have launched a cross-party movement to work together on “issues ignored because of Brexit”. The ‘More United’ group, dubbed ‘politics for the Netflix generation’, features politicians from seven different political parties, including Labour, Tory, SNP, Lib Dem, Green, ChangeUK and Plaid Cymru. The new network, which includes leading MPs David Lammy, Nicky Morgan and Caroline Lucas, will help fund candidates who campaign on poverty and homelessness, responsible technology, mental health and urgent climate dangers. Backed by 150,000 members, it has already helped MPs from different parties to work together on issues like immigration visas, restoring the ‘Enable Fund’ for deaf and disabled people and access to Legal Aid. MPs who lead and support More United campaigns will be eligible to receive money and volunteers from the movement at general elections, with almost £500,000 raised via crowdfunding and 54 candidates supported in 2017.
Nigel Farage can’t escape the foul legacy of Ukip
Is it unfair of me to point out that under Farage, Ukip was the party with councillors, candidates and even MEPs who spoke of “Bongo Bongo Land”, of telling Sir Lenny Henry to move “to a black country”, of having a “problem” with “negroes” because there was “something about their faces”? Back in 2014, the year of their triumph in elections to the European parliament, they had a councillor who blamed floods on God’s wrath at new laws to allow gay people to get married. Farage himself has spoken of his unease at hearing foreign languages spoken on trains, and has blamed immigrants for clogging up the M4 — and that’s before one even mentions his campaigning in the EU referendum. His horror at how Ukip has turned out reminds me of Captain Renault’s horror at gambling in Casablanca. Shocked, he was, shocked.
After 40 years of EU ignorance, we are all experts now
If Brexit is stopped either through a people’s vote or revocation (still unlikely), the work must begin to discuss – objectively and dispassionately – the merits and demerits of membership. That would need to be shorn of false information (the £350 million claim being only the most egregious of many) and bombast. On leaving, if that is what we do, a new generation has it in its gift to start talking about Europe in a different way. The simple act of leaving will usher in a decade or more of negotiations. Those who thought Europe would be “over” have seen nothing yet. Complacency and ignorance characterised more than 40 years of membership. We are all experts now.
Farage unveils new batch of Brexit party election candidates
Nigel Farage has unveiled five more candidates who will contest next month’s European elections for his new Brexit party. Claire Fox, a broadcaster and former Communist party member, will fight the May 23 poll for the party. Other candidates named on Tuesday included James Glancy, a former soldier and conservationist, Matthew Patten, a business and charity director, Lance Forman, the owner and chairman of the smokehouse H Forman & Son, and Christina Jordan, a former nurse. Speaking in central London, Mr Farage said the party was already “doing very well” with Conservative voters and would now set its sights on targeting Labour supporters. “Brexit is not about left or right. It is about right and wrong”, he said.
Political Setbacks
May should go today, says senior 1922 Committee member
Senior Conservatives are to vote on whether to make it easier to force Theresa May out of office within weeks by changing the party’s rules to allow a no-confidence motion at any time. The 1922 Committee will meet later on Tuesday to discuss amending its rules, which currently state a leader cannot face a second no-confidence motion within a year of the previous one. May defeated an attempt to oust her in December, meaning she is safe from an official challenge for at least another seven months. However, some Brexit-supporting members of the committee are trying to remove the time limit.
Brexit Is Back, And It's Already Being Described As The Most Disappointing Season Yet
May continues to try to plot a way to get her Brexit deal through parliament, and may bring her Withdrawal Agreement back to the Commons for a fourth time. God loves a trier. The PM is also fighting a rearguard action to save her job, with warnings her position will be under threat if voting in European elections goes ahead on May 23. The Tory grassroots has already fired off warning shots. With would-be Tory successors to May plotting in the background, most notably Boris Johnson, and cross-party talks in the hunt for a consensus solution continuing, British politics returns to the Groundhog Day that it seems to have been trapped in for recent months. Is this the Brexit finale? Anyone hoping for the latest season of Brexit to come to some kind of conclusion could be disappointed.
Insular Britain told it is losing influence in Washington
The British are nowhere to be seen in Washington as they become increasingly insular and obsessed with Brexit, according to the outgoing French ambassador to the US. Gérard Araud, the outspoken 66-year-old who has been Paris’s man in Washington since 2014, can barely contain his glee over the growing French influence on US foreign policy. “The UK has vanished,” said Mr Araud. “The British ambassador told me — and I loved it — that every time the British military is meeting with the American military, the Americans are talking about the French.”
Conservative MP set for by-election fight after being fined £1500 over false expenses claim
Tory MP Chris Davies could face a by-election to unseat him after he was fined £1,500 and ordered to do community service for making false expenses claims.
Customs union will sell British cities short, says Centre for Cities think tank
Cities including Brighton, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as London would be hit hard by a Brexit deal that neglects Britain’s powerhouse services sector, according to research. Failure to preserve frictionless access to the European Union for leading service industries would risk a sharp fall in trade, posing a threat to jobs across dozens of urban areas, the economic think tank Centre for Cities warned. Its analysis found that British cities export services worth £78 billion each year, such as insurance and legal advice, to EU countries. A third of all exports from Edinburgh, Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff and London are generated by companies selling services to the bloc. Andrew Carter, Centre for Cities chief executive, said: “A goods-only customs arrangement would leave services, which comprise the majority of Britain’s exports to the EU, facing trade barriers. This scenario could limit the economic prosperity of many of Britain’s cities and the millions of people living and working in them.”
Theresa May snubs climate change meeting with schoolgirl Greta Thunberg
There was an empty chair at the table as teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg met with party leaders in Westminster today amid ongoing environmental protests. Theresa May didn’t turn up to the round-table in the House of Commons today as Greta, 16, met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrat Sir Vince Cable, Green MP Caroline Lucas and the Westminster leaders of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, Ian Blackford and Liz Saville Roberts. A place was set for the PM, with a sign bearing her name, but she was instead chairing a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street. Mrs May had been sent an invitation, but organisers said no response had been received – though they were hopeful she still might make an appearance.
EXCL Embarrassment for Labour bosses as staff unanimously reject latest pay offer
In a major embarrassment for party officials, staff - including those working in Jeremy Corbyn's office - voted unanimously to turn down the proposed rise. Bosses now have until 3 May to return with an improved offer, with the prospect of staff taking industrial action on the table if they do not.
Tory splits erupt once again as MP hails 'fantastic' Brexit Party candidates
Deep Tory splits have been exposed once again after one of their MPs described the Brexit Party candidates for next month's European Parliament elections as "fantastic" - Tory Backbencher Lucy Allen heaped praise on her own party's supposed rivals as they announced who would be standing for them should the poll go ahead on 23 May.
Labour says Theresa May unwilling to offer key Brexit concessions
Labour has accused Theresa May of failing to offer any substantive changes to her Brexit deal in cross-party talks, as Downing Street’s hopes of a breakthrough in time to avoid taking part in European parliamentary elections waned. Brexit talks resumed on Tuesday between a team of ministers and shadow ministers. But Labour sources said the government team again appeared unwilling to countenance changes to the political declaration, which sets out the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Instead, ministers offered alternative ways of giving reassurance about the issues Labour has raised, such as on environmental standards and workers’ rights, including through redrafting the withdrawal act implementation bill (WAB) and tweaking separate planned government bills.
Farage's new recruits join class struggle for the glorification of Nige
Brexit party candidates prove as unconvincing as their leader in vowing to emancipate the people. Nigel was there to emancipate the little people, he insisted. The downtrodden and the dispossessed who were being denied the Brexit that hucksters like him had always insisted would be a piece of piss. Even a skilled chameleon like Nigel couldn’t quite pull that one off. However hard he tries, he just can’t manage anything more than ersatz sincerity. Nige has only ever been about the glorification of Nige. The narcissist’s narcissist.
Nigel Farage REFUSES to publish a Brexit Party manifesto until after EU elections
After five candidates introduced themselves, the floor opened for questions where Telegraph reporter Christopher Hope asked: “Will we ever see a manifesto? “You have only one single policy which is: Brexit. “What does that mean in your eyes, Nigel, to be quite clear, and when will we see actual policies from this new party?”
Remainers with a vengeance How EU Elections could provide the Far-right with More Power
Real change could take place in Brussels beyond 23 May, when the 27 heads of state will meet in November to agree on a new President of the European Commission. That outcome will be strongly linked to the election results. If the centre-right EPP is more or less assured of getting the Commission Presidency, the political strength of the Far-right could have a huge impact on the next Commission’s priorities – and on its political approach towards Brexit thereafter (should Brexit still be ongoing then). Similarly, should the British right, namely the Brexit party and UKIP, manage to be among the first few parties, they’ll argue that Britain just held its second referendum in favour of Leave and pretend that ‘nothing has changed’.
RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: The 'Stop Brexit' circus must be run out of town
Mrs May appears to possess not an iota of self-awareness. Rather than preparing a dignified resignation statement, she has apparently spent the past few days contemplating a Cabinet reshuffle. In what parallel universe does she believe rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is a sensible solution, while the captain who deliberately navigated the ship into an iceberg remains on the bridge? She's already promised to resign, not once but twice. Her authority is shot to pieces. She has been humiliated at home and abroad. Her dismal, defeatist withdrawal 'deal' is dead as a dodo. Her MPs treat her with undisguised contempt. Her own party activists want her gone, yesterday.