Our columnist The Rebel tries to explain the background to yet another delay with Brexit at the end of a further extraordinary week in politics.
The Rebel is a leading political figure close to senior politicians in London as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power.
Even ‘Leavers’ are now starting to say there should be another referendum.
A friend of mine who voted ‘Leave’ in the referendum, told me: “This is such chaos, perhaps there should be another referendum to put the whole thing to bed once and for all”.
This comment just shows the level of frustration in the UK at the whole Brexit saga.
First leaving the EU was to be March 31 with the actual date of April 12, then June 20 was mooted, and now October 31 is, we are told, firm.
Or is it?
The EU Council President Donald Tusk stated he could not rule out a further delay, even as he said: “Please do not waste this time”.
But there is ANOTHER date for your diary.
Teflon Theresa has insisted that the UK “can still leave on May 22 and not hold those European Parliamentary elections” if Parliament passes the withdrawal deal.
She is determined to avoid holding those elections because she knows having them will enrage the Brexiteers in her own party.
But for once her Remainer MPs agree with them, if only in the view that this is complete chaos.
One held his head in his hands as he told me: “People didn’t vote for this kind of mess.
“I don’t see how she can survive this.”
A new book of modern British political history has just been published, showing how the historical role of Parliament is as a brake on precipitate action, a mechanism for delaying laws and change until they seem likely to command consent and benefit the polity.
Delay was also thought to minimise the risk of subsequent repeal.
But in this case delay means something rather different – chaos.
It is pretty obvious that leaving the EU has proved more complicated than anyone envisaged when they cast their vote in June 2016.
The irony cannot have escaped anyone that the new date is Halloween – a celebration of all things bad.
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- The Oxford Handbook of Modern British Political History, 1800-2000 edited by David Brown, Robert Crowcroft and Gordon Pentland Oxford, 626 pp, £95.00, April 2018, ISBN 978 0 19 871489 7