It’s only Tuesday, but it already feels like it’s been a week of either high drama or the biggest anti-climax in British constitutional history, as Theresa May bought herself time (if not friends) by calling off a key parliamentary vote on Brexit at the last minute.
But as Westminster salivates, and rolling news channels barely pause for breath, does the nation have a clue what is going on – and do they actually care?
HuffPost UK dispatched a reporter to battle pre-Christmas shopping crowds on the streets of Preston, all of five miles from where she lives, to attempt to find out. In the town where 53% of voters backed Leave, what do they make of all this?
“She’s made the country a laughing stock”
James Muir, a retired civil engineer, says: “I was very much in favour of leaving and I would still vote to leave now because I don’t like being in the EU – it is a non-democratic, dysfunctional organisation.
“I just feel they have handled everything very badly and they have capitulated and given in to everything the Europeans have asked for.”
He admitted the whole thing has made him feel quite cross. “We had a golden opportunity to trade with the rest of the world as well as Europe and to get some of our freedom back and it has been a real missed opportunity.
“The way Theresa May has gone about it all is so embarrassing. She has made the country a laughing stock. The whole thing is a real mess.
“It is crying out for someone to get hold of it and sort it out but I don’t see anyone coming forward to do that.
“There’s a real lack of leadership.”
“People voted to leave because they’re racist”
“I am quite a leftie so I don’t think Brexit should have happened,” university student Sophie Scott told HuffPost UK.
“I could have predicted the mess we are in now. I don’t think we could ever have come out with a good deal.
“This whole thing was caused by David Cameron giving a voice to people who in my opinion should not really have one.
“I think there were a lot of people who don’t really know anything about politics voting to leave because they were essentially racist and trying to stop immigrants.
“I feel Theresa May is being very evasive about the fact she has made a bad decision in upholding Brexit and I think if there was another general election, the Conservatives would not get back in.”
“It has become a total joke”
“At first, when the whole Brexit thing was going on, I was more of a Remain person,” Haaris Raja, 18 said.
“Even now, looking at things retrospectively, the Leave campaign lied to us with all the £250m for the NHS stuff.”
However, the pharmacology student says now time has gone by and after hearing the other side of the story from Leave campaigners, he has mixed feelings.
“After analysing the genuine reasons held by the Leavers, I can now see the other side and it makes sense.
“At the moment, the impact is unknown, so everyone is panicking.
“I think the chaotic mess has become a complete joke and the whole thing is now a shambles.
“This is a prime minister, the leader of the country, but she just does not seem to know what she is doing and half the cabinet seems to have resigned.
“The main thing I can’t forgive her for or respect her for is selling her soul to the DUP for more votes.”
‘I blame David Cameron’
“The whole thing seems to have got really messed up” says Christine Angood, 61. “I blame David Cameron because he brought the vote in and then just disappeared.
“It was not really Theresa May’s choice. She was anti-Brexit at the time.
“I think she has done the best job she can in difficult circumstances after David Cameron up and left.”
The retired insurance broker also believes the general public should have been given more facts before the vote.
“I think people should have been given more information prior to the vote as it was too complicated for the general public to understand.
“I don’t think there should be a second referendum as it undermines the whole political system.
“It’s like throwing a dice and then throwing it again and again until you get the result you want.”
“It’s turning into a real shambles”
“The main problem with Brexit for me has been that when the initial vote was out, I was still 17 about to turn 18 so I couldn’t vote,” said animation student Miles Dawkins.
“Also, at high school, they don’t teach you anything to do with politics. I still don’t really know about politics now so I try to stay out of it.
“I don’t know enough about Brexit to have a view on it and I don’t know much about what has been happening with it this week.
“But I do know that it is turning into a real shambles and I don’t think that is a good reflection on the country if politicians don’t seem to know what they are doing and keep changing their minds.”