May’s deal offers MPs a ladder to climb down – or a chance to be martyrs | Henry Newman
With a late-night dash to Strasbourg yesterday, Theresa May secured a last-minute package of changes which she hopes to use to persuade MPs to back her Brexit deal this evening. A deal which – just two months ago – they overwhelmingly rejected. Has she achieved enough to change her critics’ minds? Perhaps in some cases, but certainly not all. But does that matter? Can she sneak her deal over the line with abstentions and some Labour rebels? We will find out later tonight in a crucial parliamentary debate.
I sometimes think that even if May had hiked up Mount Sinai and dragged down stone tablets from Moses himself setting out commitments that the backstop couldn’t become permanent, you would still have heard Eurosceptic MPs telling journalists that they would not support the Brexit deal. For some of her critics, no reassurance was ever going to work, and no compromise would be accepted. As Taylor Swift sang – haters gonna hate – and some critics will always oppose.