If the political establishment is not going to offer a second referendum, then it must deliver the result of the first, says Patrick Maxwell.

The hyperbole used to describe any particular point in the Brexit negotiations has meant that we have been in the midst of a supposed ‘high noon’ period for months now. Brexit has been extended, the procrastinating Parliament delaying their decision-making time once again. A deal does have to be reached though, and the talks between Labour and the Government may be the only way to thrash out a compromise.

The Tory hardline Eurosceptics have had their chance of recuperation from the great Brexit hangover, but have opted instead for continued self-indulgence. They have repeated their mantra of ‘money, laws and borders’ for an eternity, and Mrs May has finally realised that any hopes of extracting them from them any sense of realiation regarding the country’s predicament are misguided. Therefore, the idea of a discussion with Labour is the only remaining option.

The brutal truth for the two main parties is that their Brexit positions are extremely similar. Labour is calling for a customs union while offering up something that is not a full customs union. The Tories are offering something that is a customs union in part while trying to urge us that it is nothing of the sort. Jeremy Corbyn is one of the most hardline Eurosceptics in Westminster, his visceral dislike of established institutions is well-known. So far, his own real opposition to the deal is over the enshrinement of workers’ rights, which the Prime Minister had written to him about, assuring that they will be included. Despite his supposed support for a Customs Union and Single Market, that is of course the largest part of the EU that goes against a socialist like Corbyn’s core principles.

The problem, of course, is the shadow of Ramsay MacDonald. Having risen to become the first Labour Prime Minister, MacDonald faced up to the economic crisis that Britain was facing and agreed to form a National Government, handing over much of the power to the Tories. He has been despised by his party ever since, his ability to see through sheer ideology and act in what May would call ‘the national interest’ clearly going against the idea of the Labour Party. Corbyn, urged on by his closest confidante Seumas Milne, is nervous of pursuing a cause which many would brand a Tory Brexit. Complicity in such an act, especially with the common enemy, would never be acceptable.

The chances of a Rose Garden-style hand-hold are unlikely, but that is not to say that a deal of some sort is unworkable. Corbyn is not intimately involved in the negotiations, with Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey the most prominent figures involved from the opposition side. John McDonnell’s words on Sunday morning did not aid the cause of progress in the talks, but the public is aware that at the election, the failure of Labour to offer any credible Brexit plan, let alone aid the process of leaving, will aid the Tories significantly, with the chances of Corbyn being in charge in 2022 diminishing.

The volatile political situation which the two main leaders find themselves engulfed in can only be solved through cooperation. Brexit has consistently exposed the large divisions and prejudices of many on both sides, but eventually a deal needs to be reached. The non-entity that is a no-deal scenario won’t solve the central problem the Houses of Parliament have to consider.

Three years ago, the British electorate voted to leave the European Union. If the political establishment is not going to offer a second referendum, then it must deliver the result of the first. Unfortunately, this reasoning has not quite reached the heads of Milne, Corbyn or May.

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