FOR the last two-and-a-half years, MPs from across the political spectrum have spent an inordinate amount of time discussing what they do not want from the UK’s Brexit deal with the European Union. This week, it could finally be time for them to put their cards on the table and make a clear statement of what they are willing to support.

If a bill is passed later today enabling MPs to seize control of the Parliamentary timetable, Wednesday could see a series of indicative votes on a range of different Brexit options.

The votes will not be binding, but they will enable MPs to show Theresa May what approach might be able to command a Parliamentary majority, something her own deal has failed to achieve on two separate occasions.

This could be a crucial moment in the Brexit process, but it calls for a degree of both cooperation and realism.

First, MPs must be willing to work across traditional party lines in an attempt to achieve a consensus. Far too often in the last few months, attempts to reach an agreement have been scuppered by petty self-interest on both sides of the House. Increasingly, the public is sick of such small-mindedness.

However, MPs also have to be realistic about what is actually on offer. Whatever the UK proposes, it will have to be agreed by all 27 EU heads of state.

Pursuing the unachievable will stall the Brexit process further and reinforce the impression that some MPs are a barrier to a Brexit deal rather than a means of achieving one.