It’s been an unusual Easter break in the UK, the later-than-usual date leading to the weather being more balmy than is typical.
But between the ice-creams, sun worshipping and misspent evenings in pub beer gardens, there’s been something nagging at the back of people’s minds.
Did you leave the gas on? Is it someone’s birthday? Is Game of Thrones actually pretty bad?
If you are an extremely online person, it was probably none of those things.
As the sound of politicians bickering gets louder and louder once again, you’re shaken out of your April reverie ...
That’s right: Brexit is back
The Easter truce is over.. hear a former May loyalist and powerful backbench figure will be going public tomorrow morning to demand PM resigns.. pack up ya beach towels and strap in. 🚨
— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) April 22, 2019
It’s been a lovely couple of weeks, hasn’t it?
Parliament has been in recess since April 11 and returns today. Time for the ‘what I did on my holiday’ essays.
Our MPs taking a few weeks off from fighting about Brexit has, I think, been the best holiday I've ever had
— Sathnam Sanghera (@Sathnam) April 21, 2019
Shall we just all go back to work and not mention Brexit, whoever brings it up first gets quietly cold-shouldered and we all move on with our lives
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) April 22, 2019
And what delights do we have in store?
Some talk that ex-Tory Neil Carmichael will be among those unveiled as a TIG/Change UK MEP candidate tomorrow - other "household names" being promised
— steve hawkes (@steve_hawkes) April 22, 2019
‘Household names’. And this Tory MP’s tweet is a mood ...
Having spent the last 11 days in Bournemouth and been out every day except Good Friday and Easter Sunday canvassing and delivering for our Council candidates there is a lot to think about as I prepare to return to Westminster tomorrow. Things can't go on as they are. pic.twitter.com/wlMiHsKgHj
— Conor Burns MP (@ConorBurnsUK) April 22, 2019
Brexit recap: weren’t we on the precipice of ‘crashing out’ without a deal?
That we were, and the buzz phrase was ‘flextension’.
Previously on Brexit, Theresa May had returned from Brussels after managing to extend the date of leaving the bloc for a second time.
May’s request for a short extension to June 30 was rejected by leaders of the remaining 27 states, and European Council president Donald Tusk’s proposal of a year-long delay was also turned down.
Instead, a compromise extension to October 31 was agreed, with the option for the UK to leave earlier if it the UK parliament finally backs May’s deal thrashed out with Brussels. Yes, that’s the same deal that MPs have already effectively vote down three times.
Meanwhile, cross-party talks designed to break the Brexit deadlock reached their own stalemate, with Labour complaining that May was not willing to shift from her red lines, most notably on agreeing a customs union with the EU that the Tory leader knows is anathema to hardliners in her party.
What has happened in the last week or so?
May went on a walking holiday in North Wales and this time succeeded in not deciding to call a general election, as she did two years ago.
It’s Nigel Farage who seems to have made the most of the ceasefire, forming a a Brexit Party, touring the country while bellowing “betrayal” and filling the media vacuum created by parliament’s time off.
The fledgling party is already surging in the polls, and the ex-Ukip leader expects to “sweep the board” at the May 23 European elections.
One poll seemed to bear this out, suggesting the Brexit Party could bag 27 per cent of the vote, far ahead of the Conservatives.
And what happens next?
May continues to try to plot a way to get her Brexit deal through parliament, and may bring her Withdrawal Agreement back to the Commons for a fourth time. God loves a trier.
The PM is also fighting a rearguard action to save her job, with warnings her position will be under threat if voting in European elections goes ahead on May 23. The Tory grassroots has already fired off warning shots.
NEW: The organiser of a petition signed by 70+ Conservative Association Chairs tells me the PM "must go now". @WorldofDinah says a new PM could use the October Brexit extension "positively". pic.twitter.com/sgPGVOq0AT
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) April 22, 2019
With would-be Tory successors to May plotting in the background, most notably Boris Johnson, and cross-party talks in the hunt for a consensus solution continuing, British politics returns to the Groundhog Day that it seems to have been trapped in for recent months.
Is this the Brexit finale? Anyone hoping for the latest season of Brexit to come to some kind of conclusion could be disappointed.