Under Jeremy Corbyn, the party has evaded tough choices. Next week will be an ordeal for which it has not preparedNormally, an opposition could enjoy a week like the one that’s coming. It could sit back, relax and break open the popcorn as Theresa May walks into a Commons defeat on the policy that has defined her premiership. It could delight in yet more days of debate in which next to no one on the prime minister’s own benches rises to speak up for her, savouring the sight of a governing party that is devouring itself in full public view. But these are not normal times. For one thing, the stakes are too high. It isn’t just a regular piece of domestic legislation that the government is foundering on, but the most important – and potentially most damaging – move in the country’s postwar history. Labour cannot be passive in this process, giving the government enough rope to hang itself. Because if this goes wrong, it’s not just May’s career or the Tories’ electoral prospects that are wrecked: it’s the country.
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