I read nearly everything written and watch the parliamentary debates....and the only
consistent message that emerges is that "no one knows anything”. So this is what I
think I know becoming less certain as you go down the bullet points:
Thanks, David, for this lucid summary which, as you say, mirrors most of what is out there in public. I suggest that the forces driving the stalemate are similar on both sides but, for obvious reasons, not acknowledged. The Tory extreme Brexiteers and Corbyn's Bennite politburo both want the most damage possible to society so that their version of revolution will take over in the rubble. The best guarantee of this is no deal.
The Tory Alt-right are a financial cabal with international interests linked to the City of London, offshore tax havens and London-based billionaires (Russian, Greek etc). After 600 years of no laws, the City must at all costs resist the threat of being subject to supervision by French politicians and German bureaucrats. They have precious little stake in the national economy, less in the Celtic fringe and even less in the preservation of what passes for political and legal order or the people's welfare. May was appointed to supervise the consequences of Boris Johnson's Leave campaign and decided that her only chance of survival was to play in their way, even though she voted remain. Her MO is intransigence and she knows she is on the way out, but the logic remains the same even at this late stage.
The Corbynites are 70s Marxists whose only dream is a socialist revolution in one country led by them. It is not that they fear the EU, but staying in the EU or a soft Brexit would strengthen the British status quo, even the UK itself. Corbyn can say he's in favour of a Customs Union since the other side will never let him have it. The same goes for demanding a general election. The timing should be after the deluge not before it. They and the Brexiteers need to run down the clock to a no deal fiasco. In Corbyn's case this means staying out of the charade of cross-party discussions and making several no confidence motions even if they are bound to fail. The Liberals have sussed that one out and say they will not vote against the government in any further moves of this kind from Labour. Both sides will not contemplate another referendum since it will end up as remain. Extension of the time limit will likewise be dangerous for their strategy --some people may find out the real reasons for their behaviour. The problem is that in each party the group calling the shots is small but, for now, powerful.
The difference between this scenario and yours, David, (the media's and politicians' public statements) is that mine is based on no evidence whatsoever. Sometimes a novelist manque can beat the journalists and academics.
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