With Brexit day only weeks away, and still no deal in place, now might not seem the best time for British politicians to flip the table over.
But this week, 11 Members of Parliament have done exactly that. On Monday, seven members of the opposition Labour Party announced tha
t they were fed up of their leader Jeremy Corbyn, citing reasons ranging from rampant anti-Semitism to hi
s lack of leadership on Brexit. They will Theresa May tactics of pandering to the harder-line Brexiteers in her own party and
elsewhere. That means it’s now hard to see this new group as anything other than a pro-EU bloc in the UK Parliament, dissa
tisfied with the pro-Brexit positions of both government and opposition.
Why does that matter?
Brexit has made the politics of the UK in
credibly hard to read. Both frontbenches are committed to delivering Brexit. The government agreed a way to achieve this
with the other 27 EU member states. Yet the UK Parliament hates the deal, infamously handing May the heaviest defeat in the history of the
House of Commons.
And it hates the deal for reasons all across the political spectrum (that’s right, the Brexiteers hate the deal just as
much as the Remainers).
Since the 2016, Brexit has redrawn the ideological lines of politics in the UK. Professor Sara Hobolt at the London Sc
hool of Economics explained that there “are more people now who are willing to identify as either Brexiteers or Remainers than as supporters of any par
ty. This new divide is more tribal than old party politics, with both groups tending to be inherently distrustful of one another.”