Theresa May remains UK prime minister. The Conservative party’s English nationalists have failed in the effort to seize control of Brexit. Nothing else has changed. The awkward facts of any deal with Brussels are unaltered. So, too, is the paralysing arithmetic of the House of Commons. Brexit has poured a deadly poison into the nation’s politics. There is still a route to an orderly departure from the EU. And no sign yet May will take it. The way to think of May’s victory is one in which catastrophe is postponed rather than averted. All the while the clock ticks. Other European governments continue to insist that the prime minister can reopen her Brexit withdrawal agreement only if she redraws her red lines against continuing membership of the customs union and free movement of labour. What next? Those close to her say May will press ahead regardless. By January everyone, including recalcitrant MPs, will be getting nervous. Voters will start stockpiling essential goods. Markets will...

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