Possibly slightly less unhinged than I expected. It's still everyone else's fault, though.
THE SUN SAYS Reluctantly we must batten down the hatches and set course for a No Deal exit
IT is a monumental, historic and catastrophic defeat. Yet somehow Theresa May is still standing.
If nothing else her resilience and determination are admirable and remarkable.
And if her Government also survives Labour’s no-confidence vote today, as it should, she still has the faintest glimmer of hope: To return to Brussels and tell them it’s now or never for a legally-binding concession she can sell to the DUP and Tory backbenchers.
Even then, the scale of defeat looks insurmountable.
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And the EU is vanishingly unlikely to help: It has wanted a second referendum all along and now believes it’s coming.
Mrs May’s dramatic Commons speech in favour of her Withdrawal Agreement was well crafted and delivered, a stark contrast to the gripes Jeremy Corbyn read falteringly from his script.
But The Sun could never have supported the deal as it stands.
It had only one thing going for it: That it would ensure our departure on March 29 and finally end the long, shameful campaign by a Remainer hardcore to reverse our referendum verdict.
It was almost worth backing for the chance of finally uniting the nation, grudgingly perhaps, around a settled position.
But to us and many MPs it was neither right nor sustainable to hand the EU so much power over our nation’s future. To allow Brussels, if it wanted, to keep us bound hand and foot forever in the Irish backstop, unable to forge our own independent trading policy.
It would rapidly have become clear to the Leave majority that their decision, while nominally honoured, had been sold down the river. That we had not truly left the EU and maybe never would.
More practically it all but guaranteed the collapse of the minority Tory Government since, if it had somehow passed, the DUP would have withdrawn their support.
The Government was always going to lose heavily. The discredited Commons speaker John Bercow ensured it by refusing to select any amendments to the Bill that might have helped narrow the margin of defeat.
It was another low for a man who has already brought disgrace to his historic office by abusing his powers to help engineer the destruction of Brexit. Parliament will be a better place without him.
But let’s not pretend it would have made much difference. The deal was fatally flawed.
Mrs May’s response to the vote last night was feisty — challenging Parliament to find a viable alternative that could win a majority and honour the referendum. No one has a clue what that would be.
And her call for MPs to “listen to the British people” was dead right.
Outside Westminster, the public just wants Brexit done. They are aghast at the political games.
The Sun reluctantly believes we must head for a clean break, finalise preparations as best we can and batten down the hatches.
We never wanted a No Deal. It would mean a tough and probably damaging few months. But it would be the only solution left which defends what should now be paramount and most precious to us all: Our democracy — and the public’s faith in it.
None of the alternatives does that. They neither honour the referendum, nor are possible to sustain.
They are all damaging in their own way. Yet our Remainer-dominated Parliament will fight tooth and nail to secure one of them and thwart a clean break, in direct conflict with millions of voters.
The Norway-Plus proposal, however its champions spin it, is EU membership without the voting rights. No independent trade policy. No end to free movement.
It is a short-term Remainers’ Brexit which would lead to only one conclusion: A new and irresistible clamour to exit properly.
Another Tory idea is to lure Labour support by offering the permanent customs union they want with the EU, abandoning all thoughts of independent trade. It is a potentially suicidal idea which could destroy their Party and put Corbyn’s Marxists in power.
Then there’s the toxic second referendum which would upend our democracy, shatter trust in politicians for all time and burst fully open our national divisions.
Its only upside is that Leave would probably win again. Plenty of the more sensible Remainers have seen through the EU now — and dislike the blatant unfairness of overriding a democratic mandate before it has been enacted.
But what would the question be? Remain versus a deal already now rejected by a monstrous Commons majority as bad for Britain?
And what if Remain DID win? It is staggeringly naive to imagine that would settle it. Why should Leavers accept it? The wounds would never heal.
Labour appears almost ready now to buckle to its europhile members and back that second vote — and its betrayal of millions of left-leaning Leave voters will finally be complete.
Shadow Cabinet ministers are already teeing it up, laughably attempting to deflect blame by claiming Tory failure gives them no option. Don’t believe a word.
The Tories have dedicated nearly three years trying to see Brexit through while Labour have tried to thwart every effort and their Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer has secretly lobbied relentlessly for a new referendum.
Labour will own every ounce of the betrayal their working-class voters will feel — and will richly deserve the ballot box backlash.
Mrs May has had the hardest task of any Prime Minister since Winston Churchill, trying to fulfil the Brexit mandate with no majority in a Parliament stuffed with Remainers, some colluding with the EU to sabotage her position.
Even so, her handling of it has been a woeful failure.
She is clinging to power by her fingernails. And only a fool would predict now what happens to her, her Government, Brexit or Britain.