Anyone with half a brain and a modicum of common sense (which might possibly discount a majority of the cabinet, a good proportion of MPs and practically every member of the House of Lords) could have told you that this is how it was going to end up.
There was never going to be a satisfactory deal on the table. We were never going to exit talks as any sort of victor. It was never going to be the clean break we were initially promised. The last minute delay in the Parliamentary process doesn’t exactly help either, especially when we have no idea when a vote will now take place. If at all.
This is Brexit with a capital B for Balls-up. And with practically zero chance of added compromise or change from the EU, could we be about to make a bad situation much worse by jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire?
Therefore, #WhatNow? Of course, many suggestions are being bandied about on how to get us out of the mess our Westminster masters have successfully managed to get us into.
First off, there’s the People’s Vote. This isn’t another referendum per se because we’ve already had one of those. No, this is a different kettle of fish entirely. This is the people deciding whether they’re happy with what’s currently on offer and voting whether they now want to leave the EU after all. In other words then, another referendum.
Second, there’s Norway Plus. The fact that the UK; a sovereign state with a population of over 66 million should wish to emulate another country with a fraction of its citizens, and of its GDP, seems faintly ridiculous. I’m not entirely sure the public or politicians even really know what the Plus bit actually refers to, and how it might conceivably work.
Third, we have Remain Plus (good grief, precisely how many ‘Plus’ options are there)? Those who witnessed his recent interview on Newsnight will know that this is an idea which is strongly advocated by among others, Maurice Saatchi, the former Conservative chairman and celebrated ad man. And if there’s anyone who can sell the British public something they’re not entirely certain they want and will ultimately find useless and regret buying - the Thatcher government, for instance - I guess it’s a celebrated ad man. The notion behind this particular concept is that we go back to our European brethren and they will miraculously decide to give us everything they originally refused to give David Cameron, including power parity with Germany and stricter immigration controls.
Fourth, there’s the thought that we simply call the whole thing off and admit that it was nothing more than a petty family squabble; an argument that simply got a little out of control and was perhaps taken too far. Now, for the sake of expediency and the benefit of the children, we’ve decided to kiss and make up and come back home. No one, however, should ever have to return to a loveless marriage browbeaten and weak.
Fifth, there’s the risky option of leaving with no deal whatsoever. Continually the preferred route of a number of Brexiteers, it does rather have the flavour of someone leaping out of a plane with no parachute. And let’s get real here, Jacob Rees-Mogg is no Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) from Point Break. Mind you, the prospect of him shouting: “See you in hell, Theresa” as she launches herself after him is indeed appealing.
Sixth on the list of increasingly likely outcomes is the thrilling prospect of a further election. Ignoring the small problem of the Fixed-term Parliament Act, surely the bigger issue is voter apathy. Could the electorate seriously bear another one? Besides, if Labour won, as seems inescapable, would they really achieve a better outcome than Mrs May has hitherto managed to? It’s highly doubtful.
Aside from my preferred solution of a winner takes all boxing match between Michel “Bruiser” Barnier and Boris “Bulldog” Johnson (the TV satellite rights alone would be enough to settle our Brexit divorce bill), there unfortunately appears to be no quick and easy way out of the impasse we find ourselves in.
As a consequence, in the words of the Prime Minister herself, we are undeniably in uncharted waters. And despite being a once great sea-faring nation, even we may find it difficult to navigate ourselves out of them.
Eventually, it might be that the present deal genuinely is the best we’re going to get and that with a heavy heart we must accept it. In the meantime, I definitely foresee more chaos on the horizon. Not to mention, from my fellow bloggers and commentators alike, a great many more hashtags. #SOS.