That Brexit compromise you ordered, sir? I’m afraid it’s off. The halfway house is being demolished, the room for manoeuvre has been sublet. And all those hardline Tory leadership contenders you hoped would revert to moderation once they secured the premiership? It turns out those aren’t the droids you were looking for. The raft of Tory MPs and pundits comforting themselves that Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary and leadership favourite, will become suddenly pragmatic after entering Number 10 may need to re-examine their logic. The hardline Brexiters may still talk of wanting a deal but there will be no appetite for further slippage on the date. There are many good reasons to take the UK’s European elections less seriously than we will. Two thirds of the public did not vote. The 5.8-million who voted for the Brexit party and Ukip is considerably fewer than the 17.4-million who voted Leave in the referendum; and the 6.7-million who voted for anti-Brexit parties is far below...

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