So we will have a trick or treat Brexit? Possibly.

Having revved up the engines on the runway twice now, the take-off has been dramatically stopped once again as the passengers couldn’t agree on the destination.

It all means that three years after that fateful day in June 2016, the UK will still be on the EU tarmac.

The only thing certain about the Brexit process is, of course, the uncertainty.

As Westminster lives day by day it is not a surprise that what was a firm declaration by Theresa May only just a week ago has suddenly vanished into thin air.


The Brexiteer knives are out

Tory Brexiteer Peter Bone helpfully reminded the Prime Minister of her apparent promise that she would not countenance staying on in Downing St if Britain were still in the EU by June 30. Which, of course, is a distinct possibility.

How, asked the Northamptonshire MP, would Mrs May honour her commitment? “I think you know the answer to that,” snapped the PM, pointing out how if MPs like Mr Bone voted for her deal, then Britain could indeed be out by June 30. But, of course, he won’t.

The Brexiteer knives are out for the PM but those close to her say she is determined to see Brexit through to a conclusion; if she can.

READ MORE: Theresa May faces down Tory calls to resign over 'abject surrender' to Brussels on Brexit

Tory rules state that a leader cannot be challenged for a year following a successful confidence vote. So, however hard the likes of Mark Francois and Andrew Bridgen try to oust their leader, it looks a forlorn hope. Mrs May has become inured to humiliation and is digging in her heels.

Plus, as one Cabinet minister noted, if she were to go, the parliamentary numbers would not alter. The idea that a new PM would somehow miraculously change the mood of Parliament and swing votes in their favour is another Brexit delusion.

In practical terms, the PM has until May 22 to try to seal a deal to avoid British voters choosing a new raft of MEPs in the European parliamentary elections. Given the shortness of time, parties are already preparing candidates and campaigns. Asked if Mrs May would take part vigorously, a No 10 aide replied forcefully: “We want to avoid the elections, full stop.”

It would, of course, be another humiliation given the PM time and again has insisted she does not want to see the country going to the polls three years after it said it wanted to leave the EU.


Can May get her deal over the line at the second third fourth try?

So can Theresa do it? Can she schmooze Jeremy Corbyn to get a compromise deal? There is a lot of talk about customs union/customs arrangement and how the parties are in many ways on the same page.

The PM was at it again on Thursday.

“There is actually more agreement in relation to a customs union than is often given credit for when different language is used,” she noted.

“We are looking at the customs arrangement that would be in place in that future relationship. We have already indicated, as is in fact reflected in the Political Declaration, that we want to retain the benefits of a customs union; no tariffs, no quotas and no rules of origin checks,” Mrs May added.

READ MORE: Theresa May's statement to MPs after EU summit

Yet, of course, whether or not the Labour leader will get into bed, politically, with his Tory counterpart is another question. Everyone talks about what is “in the national interest”. But the bottom line is Mr Corbyn believes having a Labour Government is in the national interest while Mrs May believes having a Tory one is in the national interest.

Whether the inter-party talks succeed will ultimately come down to a political judgement; which probably means they will not.

And if that results in MPs having another round of indicative votes, then this too is fraught with danger. One minister made clear for this to work there would have to be an “absolute majority” of MPs backing one option; not one that just has the most votes. And as we have seen no option has thus managed to rally most MPs behind it.

And all the while Nicola Sturgeon bides her time on the independence question. A lack of certainty there will probably mean that when the First Minister comes to make her big announcement, after Easter, it will be fudged.


Will there be tricks or treats this year? 

As the nation faces another few weeks, months or even years of Brexitry, the decision at the EU summit raised at least one moment of joy.

READ MORE: SNP split over referendum priority in Brexit delay​

MPs were told Westminster’s Easter recess, already curtailed and facing another week of parliamentary business, was being resurrected. Cheers erupted in the Commons chamber. It also has to be said members of HM Press were also leaping inside at the prospect of a few days’ abstinence from Brexit.

But then the madness will resume; the engines will be revved up again. Only 203 days to Brexit. Possibly.