Theresa May warned MPs that “history will judge us all” in a desperate bid to blackmail them into supporting her Brexit deal on Monday.
May has already secured her place in history as the Tory prime minister who suffered eight shattering parliamentary defeats over Brexit.
And she could face another defeat next Wednesday when MPs are set to vote on her Brexit deal.
Her weakness is underlined by her constant attempts to appease both warring factions of the Tory party.
May flew to Brussels on Monday to try and convince the European Union’s (EU) leaders to renegotiate the “backstop” over Northern Ireland.
Tory right wingers are determined to have new assurances over Britain’s border written into the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
Steve Baker, deputy chair of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers, made clear they wouldn’t accept anything less than scrapping the backstop. And in a leaked WhatsApp message, Baker warned the Tories could “grind towards a party split”.
Meanwhile, Tory culture secretary Jeremy Wright suggested that May could ditch her promise to renegotiate the backstop. He said, “I don’t think it’s the mechanism that matters, it’s the objective.”
May’s objective is to unite her party and keep the Tories in government. But the EU feels no pressure to compromise—especially with someone who keeps losing votes in parliament.
May lost a “neutral” motion in parliament last Thursday, which was supposed to do no more than note what is happening and play for time.
It was defeated by the votes of 303 MPs to 258. Nearly a quarter of Tory MPs did not support the government—67 abstained, and five voted against. It was another shattering humiliation for May.
Every week that Brexit draws closer May loses more friends and alienates more people in her own party.
But the Labour Party and trade union leaders aren’t taking advantage of the Tory crisis by calling strikes or protests.
And this has left working class people feeling frustrated and like spectators.
The options of a “soft”, “hard” or “no-deal” Brexit are false choices for working class people.
They will all be bad deals so long as they are based on Tory politics of austerity and racism that help the super-rich and shaft working class people.
The left should put forward a socialist, anti-racist vision of Brexit that rejects the neoliberal single market and defends freedom of movement.
The best way to break the deadlock is to step up resistance on the streets, workplaces and campuses to drive out May and all the Tories.