Monday 24 July 2017

Varadkar must now seek an extension to looming Brexit talks deadline

Leo Varadkar and the rest of the EU-27 need to offer the Tories a free gift in their self-inflicted hour of need, writes Colm McCarthy

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

The Tory party, described by one-time leader William Hague as "an absolute monarchy tempered by periodic resort to regicide", has in a short few years delivered the United Kingdom into a dreadful strategic cul-de-sac.

David Cameron, after his Brexit referendum gamble came unstuck a year ago, fell on his sword before the men in the grey suits came calling. Theresa May's walk-on part in the Tories' illustrious history, on most reckonings the oldest political party in the world, will not be long extended. The longevity and the taste for regicide are connected.

The 2015 Tory election victory was built on a scare story: the other lot will plunge the country into chaos, with a Labour government beholden to the unpredictable Scots. Vote for the grand old party and all will be taken care of. Two years later Britain is out of the European Union (details to follow, trust us) and a minority Tory administration leads the plucky islanders ever onward, 'taking back control' with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party. There really is a worse fate than being ordered around by devious foreigners in continental Europe, for example being ordered around by your kith and kin from Fermanagh.

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