Apparently May’s strategy is to outface and ignore all opposition to her Brexit deal in her Party. She expects business Toryism over the coming weeks to sort out the No Deal Brexiters.
The Tories’ business backers will be worried about predictions of economic catastrophe. They hold the Party’s purse strings. They could threaten withdrawal of financial support from the Party if May is deposed or the No Deal Brexiters take over.
After all, despite demagogically calling for Brexit in the last referendum, Johnson and other hard Brexiteers never wanted to win. Nor did they dare take responsibility for it afterwards. They love the nationalist posturing and rhetoric but they have never yet shown the guts to fight for a party or a government that is sustained on such rhetoric.
The transition is not easy from a stable bourgeois Party, like the Tories have been in the past, to a nationalist and populist one, like that of UKIP or perhaps the Trump movement.
But for some of the hard right Brexiteer MPs transition time is here, the old Tory Party’s stance of stability is over. They see it no longer able to garner electoral support without aggressive nationalism.
Some of the hard right nationalists in the Tory Party were whooping it up with cries of ‘traitor’ along with MPs like Mark Francois at the Bruges group conference last week-end. It will be difficult for people like that to pull back.
But for most Tory MPs, like the cautious career-calculator Michael Gove, this is still too scary.
What will happen?
I reckon that May will survive as leader. But her deal and her party? Not so well.
Many of the hard Brexiters have now gone too far. In response to May’s attempt to outface them, some will try to outface her back. They are not likely after a failed leadership challenge to say ‘ok, we’re in the minority, we will do as we are told from now on’.
Whilst a split in the Tories is unlikely, the rebels will be increasingly uncontrollable by the Tory Party whips. And they will likely continue to bring May’s deal down.
What happens between them, UKIP and the ragbag of nasty nationalists on the far right we will have to see.
But the labour movement has to see them all off along with their anti-migrant xenophobic crap