by Larry Elliott
"The pro-EU wing of the Tory party is small but, just like the DUP, has become more influential in a hung parliament.
May’s position is that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, but that is a slogan not a policy. Strong lobbying from the CBI, the City and international investors will discourage Britain from walking away from negotiations. As George Osborne pointed out on the Andrew Marr Show, a “no deal” outcome would not be acceptable to the DUP because it would mean a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and some Tories would be content with a compromise deal. Many Tories would not be. All the ingredients are there for a Conservative schism not seen since the repeal of the Corn Laws in the 1840s. Then, as now, the Tories were divided, on that occasion between its free trade and protectionist wings. The split damaged the Tory party so badly that it was unable to form a majority government for 28 years. All Labour needs to do is sit back and watch events unfold. As Napoleon once said, never interfere with an enemy that’s in the process of destroying itself."