French President Emmanuel Macron did not cover himself in glory at the latest European Council summit.
But he was right to keep asking the same question: what is the Article 50 extension for?
There are various ways in which the UK can use the extension: keep trying to get an agreement (any agreement) through parliament; go for a people’s vote; or call a General Election. Of the three, the last is now by far the best option.
There is nothing, nothing at all, to make anyone believe that an agreement can get through parliament. There are so many moving parts that the jigsaw cannot be put together in a way that commands a stable majority.
The practical and political barriers to an agreement between the government and the opposition are formidable. And even if the two leaders could agree, with party coherence being what it is, it remains unclear whether their compromise deal would command a parliamentary majority.