While the focus has been on how Tory backbenchers will vote on a Brexit deal, pro-Europeans on the opposition benches will face a crucial dilemma tooFor politicians, compromise can be a surprisingly hard word. So it is today over the Brexit endgame. The talk is still of crashing out, no deals and blood red lines. But this is paradoxical. Politics, like life itself, is mostly built on compromises. That is why the Brexit sherpas are, in fact, still talking in Brussels and London. Even on Brexit, it remains likelier than not that the practical human instinct to compromise will eventually have its way. This is not, though, the certainty it ought logically to be. Brexit is not simply another political process to be settled through compromise. To many, it is also a series of absolutes. One is that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was not just decisive but the immutable will of an entire people that cannot be questioned – or compromised. A second, never properly understood in Westminster, is that the EU sees leaving as a treaty process governed by rules that cannot be bent.
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