Theresa May, today, stands down as the leader of the Conservatives.
She lost the majority in the House of Commons gained by David Cameron in 2015. She also lost a vote in the House of Commons by the highest number of votes ever recorded in UK political history.
It is quite obvious that Theresa May had no intention whatsoever of leaving the EU without a deal, any deal to be honest. Her mantra “no deal is better than a bad deal” will go down in history as one of the biggest lies ever told to the British people, not as bad as Tony Blair perhaps, but, very close.
By going for a second vote on her deal, Theresa May allowed the commons to take over procedure in the House. Aided by the Speaker, they passed a law demanding May request an extension to Article 50. I doubt this was unforeseen by Theresa May and her Remainer cabinet. It just meant they could blame the MP’s for not having left on 29th March 2019. Obviously, anyone with any knowledge of parliamentary procedure would know this to be mis-representation, but many of the electorate are not that concerned with such details.
Theresa May signed the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU in late 2018. The backstop contained in that agreement means the UK can never exit the agreement without the consent of the EU. The only realistic way the EU would agree to the UK’s exit is that Northern Ireland would have to remain in The Customs Union, bound by Single Market rules and laws dictated by Brussels with no representation. Why Theresa May signed up to that will be debated for many years to come, especially as the DUP were vehemently opposed to it and she relied on them for her “majority”.
The rise of The Brexit Party shows the damage done to the Conservatives by their leader. I doubt anyone wishing great harm on the Conservatives could have done a better job.
Maybe the Conservatives can come back, but I personally doubt it. The only way out for them that I can see is to leave the EU on 31st October 2019 as required by UK law, and make a success of the mess resulting from May’s and Hammond’s refusal to prepare properly for a no deal exit. THAT is a BIG job by any standard.
The odds? 100/1, 200/1, 1000/1, who knows?