The actor Danny Dyer caught the public mood last week, at least on social media, by denouncing the “mad riddle” of Brexit, and the “twat” who called the Brexit referendum, David Cameron. There is clearly a mood of public frustration as this nonsense continues, though it’s the voters themselves who are surely the real twats by voting to leave the EU without any plan. Indeed, since Mr Dyer himself reportedly voted Leave, that also makes him a female reproductive organ, which is what “twat” means.

The Monty Python absurdity of Theresa May's plan-less Brexit negotiations were laid bare at last week's European Council. This was the summit at which Britain's post-Brexit proposals were supposed to be discussed, but couldn't be because the divided and squabbling UK cabinet hasn't come up with any. Instead, May repeated her “be reasonable” line on Britain's exclusion from security arrangements in Europe.

EU member states are allowed to share information on criminals, missing people and suspected terrorists. When we leave the EU we won't have access to these databases or the EU Arrest Warrant. How dare the wicked Eurocrats deny access to vital criminal records, allow criminals to go free and weaken our defences against terrorism, she whined? How could they make it more difficult for missing people to be “reunited with their loved ones”?

To which the weary response from Brussels is that this is what Brexit Britain has chosen to do by leaving the EU, rejecting the European Charter of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, which oversees things like extradition and data sharing between agencies. Well then, said Mrs May, why can't we accept the rulings of the European Court on “a case by case basis”. Why can't we just stay even though we've chosen to leave?

It's the same with the Customs Union and the European Single Market. At Friday's crunch cabinet meeting, which may or may not involve a sleepover at Chequers, the PM is hoping to force the hard Brexiteers in her cabinet to accept a “Norway-plus” plan for effectively keeping us in these key EU institutions. This is being forecast as the moment when Boris Johnson may say “f**k cabinet as well as business” and resign, the better to pose as a latter day Churchill, fighting alone against capitulation to the Brussels Reich. But even if May gets her Remainian Brexit accepted there's little chance of it ever happening.

May's “close customs partnership” involves Britain acting as the customs officer for the rest of the EU, replicating their arrangements at the UK borders so that we collect tariffs on their behalf on imports coming from outside the EU. Yes, you read that right. Not only would Britain have its own customs arrangements with the rest of the planet, we would act as a mini-me European Union when it comes to any goods that might go on from here to the single market. It is not just hardline eurosceptics who have called this “cretinous” and “bonkers”. The European Union itself has already rejected May's customs partnership.

They've pointed out that Britain would have to observe the regulatory rules of the Single Market as they apply to physical goods. In other words, it's not just EU tariffs that UK Customs would have to apply, but also things like safety standards on kettles, and all those “bent banana” rules that Boris Johnson used to rail against when he wrote for the Daily Telegraph. May belatedly recognised this, and circulated a cabinet paper proposing that Britain would also adopt single market rules “whenever necessary” to ensure “friction free access” to the EU. Hence “Norway-plus” because it involves the Single Market and the Customs Union.

But this farrago is a non-starter, and not just because Jacob Rees Mogg thinks it would make Britain a “vassal state”. The Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar reminded Theresa May last week that you have to be member of the European Single Market in order to get access to it. This means accepting the four freedoms, including freedom of movement. This isn't being “obstructive” or “punishing Britain”; it's just how the EU works.

May's solution to the Irish border issue is part of this attempt to get in under the wire. She's suggested that the entire UK could remain in regulatory alignment with the Customs Union and Single Market in order to ensure no border checks in Northern Ireland. But Brussels has rejected this cunning plan. Britain would have to accept continued budget payments, free movement and adjudication by the European Court of Justice if it wants full regulatory alignment.

And so we are left with this circularity that is driving British civil servants and the Brussels 27 quietly insane. There seems no political route out of this madness since Jeremy Corbyn last week again ruled out the Customs Union, the Single Market and even a people's vote to reverse Brexit. This is not just a crisis of government, but a complete failure of opposition. I'm afraid it can mean only one thing: a bitter and divided summer followed by a catastrophic “no deal” Brexit in the autumn when the clock finally stops ticking.

The whole affair is beginning to look like one of those school book accounts of how the First World War began – because neither side could find a way of backing down. There isn't going to be any change of heart by the EU 27 because they are tied into their own legal arrangements governed by treaties. Brussels negotiators might want to bend the rules, but they can't because the EU would unravel if Britain was seen to be given the benefits of EU membership without being subject to the rules. Germany and France who mostly decide things in the EU, have other things on their minds, like the immigration crisis.

The Prime Minister's former adviser, Nick Timothy, who was also the brains behind last year's disastrous Tory election manifesto, has called on the UK to “toughen up”, stop being pushed around by Brussels and embrace a “no deal” Brexit. The headbangers in the cabinet think that the EU will fold if we refuse to pay the “divorce bill” - but Britain is already legally committed to paying those contributions to the current EU budget. Come the October summit, the British Government will be left resorting to veiled threats and hints of retaliation – with Theresa May acting as a kind of poundland Donald Trump. Meanwhile, car and aircraft manufacturers will step up their plans for relocating to Europe, following banks, fund managers and everyone else who is in a position to get out while they can.

This can only benefit the “effing” Boris Johnson, who sees himself as Britain's Trump, and the only minister with the balls to take on Brussels. He could be the replacement for May as Prime Minister if the no-dealers consolidate their grip on the UK cabinet - don't think it can't happen. Britain may soon, in effect, be left declaring economic war on the European Union, a club we joined of our own free will, and have decided freely to leave. The only question is whether Scotland will try to leave the UK before the lights go out.