WHERE to start, amidst the paralysis and the deeply entrenched divisions and the immense chaos? Theresa May survived last night’s vote of confidence but the task ahead of her is one of forbidding complexity.

Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons, made it clear that Article 50 will not be extended or revoked. In terms of cross-party co-operation, the Prime Minister is not bringing Jeremy Corbyn to the table, as he is more interested in seeking a General Election rather than discussing Brexit. From his point of view, though, why should he help the Tories and Mrs May out of a mess of their own devising?

Trying to predict what might happen in the days ahead is a futile gesture. Might we leave the EU with no deal? Might any of the alternative Brexit proposals scrape together a majority in the Commons? Will we soon be facing yet another General Election? Everything is up in the air at the moment.

The idea of a People’s Vote, a second referendum, has been debated endlessly over the last few months. Many senior politicians have profound reservations about it. Critics of the idea of a re-run referendum fret that it would be anti-democratic and would undermine the legitimacy of the original result. But if the Cabinet and MPs cannot reach a swift compromise – and who would put money on that being achieved prior to March 29? – then the appeal of a second referendum is growing. The Labour leadership would rather there were an election but the urgent intervention yesterday of 71 of its MPs, urging them to support a People’s Vote, might prove decisive.

There might once have been some legitimacy to critics’ claim that Remainers only wanted a second referendum so that the 2016 decision to Leave would be cancelled. Increasingly, however, and even though it would take weeks to organise, a new referendum seems like a persuasive way out of the impasse. Give the people the final say.