A demonstration featuring a paper mâché Theresa May | Jack Taylor/Getty Images
The Peter Pan Brexit that can never grow up
Prime Minister Theresa May hopes the prospect of fighting the EU election will push her MPs toward backing the deal.
Updated 4/12/19, 9:16 AM CET
LONDON — Welcome to the Brexit never-never land.
After another 24 hours of drama, delay and argument, things are back where they have always been. The numbers don’t add up for anything apart from more delay.
Until there is a change in personnel in Westminster or a shift in mindset in Brussels and EU capitals, Britain will not leave the EU without a deal and the EU will not kick Britain out.
It’s the EU’s deal or purgatory, and purgatory is winning.
Following Wednesday’s late-night European Council summit, Britain now legally has until October 31 to sort itself out or go back to EU leaders to ask for another delay.
Politically though, Theresa May has until May 22 to pass the Withdrawal Agreement or face the potentially fatal humiliation of fielding Conservative candidates in the European Parliament election the following day.
The immediate result of the six-month delay is that it grants May yet another last shot.
If she fails, the six-month Brexit delay agreed by EU leaders on Wednesday creates enough space for a Conservative Party leadership contest — and potentially a general election.