What are we going to do about Theresa?
If you think this is a problem for the Conservatives and the House of Commons, try looking at it from the point of view of the EU.
The poor woman has ended up like Charles I in front of the so-called High Court of Justice in 1649. All respect for her authority has gone. Her former allies have been defeated, and those with the power to act – in this case the leaders of the European Union – are able to confront her safe in the knowledge that it is their version of the law that will ultimately prevail. All the prime minister has left is her dignity, which she pulls about her like a shroud.
The late king, you may recall, having lost the civil war, was on a hiding to nothing when he went before Cromwell’s hand-picked tribunal. His claim of sovereign immunity – based on his conviction that he, and he alone, had the right to decide England’s destiny and that none could lawfully dispute his authority – was summarily dismissed. The monarch, it was decreed, was not a person, but an office, whose occupant was entrusted with the power to govern “by and according to the laws of the land and not otherwise”. The subsequent proceedings, given the enormity of the occasion, lasted just long enough for the axeman to ensure that his blade had a properly sharp edge.