Forget about Relate, ACAS or all of the thousands of arbitrators and facilitators. Has your divorce, or workplace negotiation, boundary dispute or EU Withdrawal Agreement gotten nowhere in the last two and a half years? Clearly what you need is an evening in Strasbourg.
Theresa of London had been travelling to Brussels to resolve an awkward tiff with her estranged partner Jean-Claude. Despite months of trying, she had achieved nothing but a trying time. Bringing in her lawyer Geoffrey and her “fixer” Oli had made matters worse. But two hours with Jean-Claude in the magical surroundings of Strasbourg has made all the difference.
Back to reality!
Sadly, in the cold light of day, what seemed like a wonderful way forward in the French moonlight now feels like a mistake. Will Theresa ever learn not to give so much away without more commitment? First it was her £39bln exchanged for nothing more than a vague promise of goodwill. Now she has bet everything on a “legally-binding” complementary document.
Will she regret giving her trust by tonight? Sadly, once this morning’s euphoria wears off, we feel Theresa won’t make it across the line this evening. We know and love the phrase “It’s a long shot but it might just work”. But those advocating gambling on long-odds horses should ship out to Cheltenham for the Festival. By definition, the chances are that you will lose! It was a sterling effort by Mrs May, and like nearly all the real people in this country, we just want it over. Will the DUP change their minds – and will Bill Cash and his star-chamber of lawyers change their minds? We can’t quite see it.