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The wicked witch: But will a Hallowe’en Brexit finally force her to get on her broomstick and go?

Brexit is now such a mess that it is hard to write about it coherently.

Theresa May wanted another extension of the period before the UK must leave the EU until June 30 – but has been forced to accept a longer delay, until October 31.

That has prompted obvious Hallowe’en comparisons such as that in the headline.

European newspapers have also been having fun – with Die Zeit saying the chosen exit date “could not be more symbolic: on 31 October, when the Halloween festival of horrors is being celebrated everywhere, Britain is set to leave the EU. For many, in Britain and on the continent, a truly scary moment … ”

And Le Monde said “the Anglo-Saxon festival of witches and pumpkins”, was perhaps a fitting date.

By rights, it seemed Mrs May should have been pleased. The decision allows her more time to get a deal with the Labour Party, and means she will be able to honour that deal before handing over the Tory Party leadership – and Number 10 – to any hard-Brexiter from her party’s extreme right wing; they won’t be able to oust her with a “no confidence” vote before December, according to their party’s current rules.

But.

The EU’s decision is a compromise – and Mrs May seems to hate compromise. Discussions with Labour have so far shown that she still expects Jeremy Corbyn’s team to give way, meaning a deal allowing the UK to leave in any way at all still seems impossible.

Mrs May herself apparently now wants to stay in Downing Street for anything up to another year, which suggests that she was lying about leaving as soon as she had delivered the first part of Brexit – and also that she is delusional about the possibility of winning another “no confidence” vote within her own party.

Her right-wing backbenchers have other ideas. They want her to quit so they can take over and turn the process into a complete dog’s breakfast (or dog’s Brexit, as politicians seem to keep getting those words confused).

Having been deprived of the opportunity to hold a “no confidence” vote in Mrs May, they are now saying she should either go of her own accord before the Conservative Party Conference in October, or 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady should bypass the “confidence” procedure by telling her she has lost the confidence of most members and should go before they have a chance to humiliate her.

The last thing on the minds of any of the Tories, it seems, is the well-being of the people of the United Kingdom.

With all these factions vying for advantage, and Parliamentary arithmetic against the lot of them, the most likely results seems to be a further delay after another failure to reach an agreement by the new, new deadline.

So, as the headline predicts, the spectre of Brexit may rise, zombie-like, from its Hallowe’en grave and stalk us into the year(s) to come. Will it haunt us forever?


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