WHILE the country shivers thanks to a combination of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, drivers have been left stranded in heavy snow, emergency and public services have performed heroics, and people across the UK have battled the conditions to help those in need.

The weekend will provide a welcome respite from the stress of the daily routine for some. So as the nation draws a collective breath, the Government dipped a toe in the pool of public opinion, and decided another major Brexit intervention from Theresa May was just what was required to lift spirits.

Never mind snow fatigue – Brexit fatigue set in months ago. But still, like the gritters, the Prime Minister ploughs on.

Yesterday’s speech – hastily moved from its original location in Newcastle to London because of the weather – saw Mrs May positioning herself as the pragmatic leader who just wants to “get on” with the process.

Her bid to provide clarity was welcomed by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier – in particular her recognition that not everyone can get their own way in the negotiations.

However, her proposals for avoiding a hardening of the Irish border won fewer plaudits.

Mr Barnier’s warm words are promising, but as ever, it is Mrs May’s backbenchers who are the real audience for these kind of speeches.

Only time will tell if Friday’s efforts can bring any kind of order to the Tory position on Brexit, or whether Beast from the (South) East Boris, or Storm Jacob, will freeze out Mrs May once more.