Is Theresa May killing the Conservative Party?

Twitter and Facebook have been awash with people claiming to be former Conservatives who have just left the party.

A number have posted photographs of party membership cards cut in half.

It’s hard to be sure on the internet whether people really are who they say they are. But there’s no doubt that something is happening.

Some Conservatives are furious with Theresa May for inviting Jeremy Corbyn to help her draw up a new Brexit deal.

Take Michael Fabricant, the Tory MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire.

He’s said: “In agreeing to meet Jeremy Corbyn – this self-confessed Marxist and apologist for the IRA, Hezbollah and Hamas – she increases the risk of propelling a hard Left-Scottish Nationalist coalition into Government.

“Not only would this destroy our nation’s economy, it could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom.”

And he warned: “It could fracture the Conservative Party and make it unelectable for a generation.”

 

For some Tory MPs, the decision to work with Mr Corbyn is the final straw.

But a number have worried for some time that Mrs May will “destroy the Conservative Party”, in the words of another West Midlands Tory.

Brexit isn’t happening - not because the Government has taken a decision to halt it, but because the UK is just incapable of getting its act together.

Michael Fabricant is a Conservative MP critical of Theresa May

And if we ever do leave the EU, it’s extremely unlikely that Brexit will live up to the promises made in the 2016 referendum.

One can argue that this isn’t all Theresa May’s fault.

She’s clearly utterly useless as Prime Minister.

 

But that doesn’t mean a better Prime Minister would have got a better deal out of the EU. For example, the “backstop” - which many MPs object to - is something the EU would insist on, no matter what.

Some people say Mrs May has chosen to give in to the arch-Brexiteers in her party. But she hasn’t.

They want a “no-deal” Brexit but she’s tried to negotiate a deal, which is why they keep on voting against her in the Commons.

And it’s not her fault that the “leave” campaign told voters Brexit would be easy and lead to a huge cash windfall for the NHS - promises that no government could keep, because they were nonsense to begin with.

One could also point out that Labour voted to hold a referendum, and then voted to trigger Article 50 (ie to begin the process of leaving) before the country knew what sort of Brexit we want.

 

Shouldn’t they get some of the blame too?

The answer is that none of these things matter much. The Tories are in power, and it’s all going wrong under their watch.

It might be fair or it might not. Either way, it’s the Conservative Party that will be remembered as the party that made a mess of Brexit.