But hiding in all the admirable sentiment is the knife to the heart. You see, although she thinks the whole anti-Europe thing is “bollocks” – which it is – Soubry won’t actually vote against it. What? Why? Well, because…
Because I told people that if we voted leave, we would. And I can’t go back on that.
There you go. Politics. In just two sentences.
Even if the Right Thing To Do is so glaringly obvious that you need sunglasses every time you turn to face it, even if it’s the difference between keeping your country’s place in the world and relegating it to geopolitical insignificance and economic catastrophe, even if you know it will enrich the liars who got you there and encourage the racists you despise, even if you know all this in your conscious brain because you said it all in the same interview….
even if all of that, what you really can’t do is go back on something you said.
Yes, Anna, you can. You should. If you’re in Parliament for the good of your country, it’s pretty much your duty. You know it, and all your colleagues know it. This is to you and all of them: hiding behind Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t wash. Be brave. Say “the referendum was a stupid idea and we’re all sorry, but we can’t let it go on any more”. Put the history books ahead of the next ballot box. Put Britain’s future ahead of your careers. Knock it on the head while you’ve got the chance.