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The Ides of May

Tory MPs are considering regicide to avoid defeat for Brexit in the Commons. But a change of leadership, or even of government, won’t change the fundamentals.

The former Conservative defence minister Michael Portillo probably produced the best line when reflecting on yesterday’s dramatic events, which included seven ministerial resignations, following the publication of the UK’s European Union draft withdrawal agreement.

That divorce agreement ensures legal and regulatory stability between Britain and the EU, and no change to the landscape of Ireland—at least for the foreseeable future. It represents a victory of sorts for the intense lobbying effort by businesses, by the Treasury and the Bank of England, and by the government of the Republic of Ireland.

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