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Keep your head down, Maybot: She knows the world is laughing at us. – because of her.

I don’t mean humiliation for her; she couldn’t care less. I mean humiliation for us.

Theresa May has started suggesting that an extension of Article 50 – the part of EU law that allows a member state to withdraw from the bloc, stating the date on which they intend to leave – may now be necessary in order to allow Brexit to happen in an “orderly” manner.

She neglected to mention the fact that the disorderly manner of the UK’s Brexit preparations so far – and the possibility that we won’t be ready to leave on March 29 – is entirely due to squabbling within her own government.

Tory ministers all know that leaving the EU will harm the UK’s economy in a serious way and they have been fighting among themselves, jockeying for the best position to take advantage of the nation’s vulnerability after we lose the advantages of being in the world’s largest trading union.

When she gave her Brexit speech in Stoke on January 14, Mrs May said she did not think the UK should delay its departure – but refused to categorically rule it out.

Meanwhile, we are told EU officials are already laying the groundwork for such an extension – until July – to allow all the necessary legislation to pass.

So, clearly, there is a possibility that a delay may happen.

Now, here’s a thing Mrs May has never considered: We’re not stupid.

We can see these developments and work out what they mean.

Hence this tweet from Dr Phil Hammond:

Quite. Marcus Chown added:

And this is my point.

We might be able to place responsibility where it belongs.

But the rest of the world simply sees the whole of the UK as a laughing-stock – for electing a shower of self-absorbed simpletons who called the EU membership vote for selfish reasons and have spent the years since squabbling among themselves about what they, personally, can get out of it.

And the worst part of it is…

They are right.

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