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Final say is the only way to stop Corbyn winning the next election

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The last few weeks have radically changed the face of British politics. The Liberal Democrats, having languished in single figures for the best part of a decade, now vie on equal terms with the other parties in what appears to be a new kind of four party politics. Chuka Umunna’s decision to join the Lib Dems last week raises the prospect of others following. The two traditionally major parties are cracking and melting like the Arctic ice sheet.

While the media inevitably focus on the uncertainty around who will lead the Conservative Party, there are three potentially more important imponderables of a structural rather than personal nature.

The first is whether a Brexit deal is deliverable under a new Tory leader. Merely to ask the question is to perpetuate a myth which dogged, and eventually destroyed Theresa May: that the British – through negotiating skill or threats – can change the terms of Brexit. The reality is that the 27 members of the EU are not going to offer the UK a better deal outside the EU than inside it, just because a new PM bangs the table, raises his voice and speaks slowly.

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© Independent