SO we’ve avoided the turmoil of the cliff-edge exit and got our extension – but what is going to change? Something has to change if we are to break the deadlock and make progress.

Many, perhaps most, Tory MPs want a change of leader, and Theresa May is herself a major part of the problem. If it is to happen, now is the time – the Tories cannot waste the summer plucking up the courage and assassinate her as Hallowe’en approaches.

But if they are too weak to force her out now, they must accept defeat, and compromise. They will be morally obliged for the good of the country to support their leader.

The 27 European countries should have taught us something. Nineteen of them wanted one thing, seven were flexible, and one – the French – wanted a short extension. They talked it through and reached a compromise. We may snigger and call it a fudge, but at least they are moving on to tackle other issues.

And we are just stuck. So Mrs May, if she remains, must also compromise. If her deal is dead, she must make a new one – a customs union, a second referendum, a new common market... She cannot forever keep kicking the can down the track with no idea where she is taking our country.

Compromise requires leadership and vision. Mrs May offers neither, but she cannot be so blinkered as to continue to do the same thing over and over again.

We cannot endure another six months of stagnation and then, cap-in-hand, ask for another extension. That would be humiliation.