THIS week has been as exciting as the opening group stage of the football World Cup. I rush home from work each night, turn on the TV and find myself inexplicably drawn into the drama of an obscure fixture such as Uruguay versus Switzerland. Next night it is something as captivating as Japan versus Saudi Arabia.

Who would have thought that the twists and turns of no-deal, dead deal or delay could be so compelling?

And the post-match interview of Middlesbrough South’s Simon Clarke was every bit as raw and emotional as the touchline antics of Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp. Mr Clarke said he was “angry and bewildered at having a gun to my head for a wretched deal…it is galling beyond words”.

MPs on all sides are being ridiculed, even vilified, for this apparently farcical state of affairs – and it was as farcical as Alice in Wonderland that the Government should lay down a motion to remove no-deal only then to order its own supporters to vote against its own motion which had been amended so that no-deal would still be removed.

There is exasperation in the country that MPs are not getting on with it, and there are accusations that they are betraying the voters.

But they are faced with a set of circumstances unique in British history.

A referendum was held with a black-and-white question to solve a problem with at least 50 shades of grey. The 52/48 outcome gave the Government a little direction – get out – but didn't say where to. Even Theresa May couldn’t define what she was doing, saying “Brexit means Brexit” without thinking that one man’s Brexit is another man’s betrayal.

And then the British public made matters even less clear by electing a minority government that couldn't do anything very much.

This desperately weak government, led by an accidental prime minister, was then expected to solve an issue which had been the most contentious in the country for five decades. The Conservatives were the natural ruling party of the 20th Century, yet their last three Prime Ministers – Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron – were all brought down by this issue. It is no wonder, then, that at a time when we are not blessed with great leaders, Mrs May cannot control her own Cabinet.

With resilience her only direction, she is expected to solve an issue that is profound. People’s economic futures are at stake and so is the existence of the United Kingdom: Scotland could flake off at any moment, or Northern Ireland – an area which voted to remain but only has a voice through the hardline leavers of the Democratic Unionist Party – could be abandoned altogether, either to a customs union or, heaven forbid, to renewed sectarian tensions.

And this is an issue that our MPs don’t really control. They can vote all they like, ordering the Government to scrap this or extend that, but if the 27 other states don’t agree, nothing will be scrapped or extended.

So MPs have to grapple and grope their way through the grey fog in the hope of finding a way out. Last week, I abandoned my belief that Mrs May would somehow get her deal through, but now it’s back in with a chance. Incredibly, she may be losing her way to victory, and perhaps her “wretched deal” is the best interpretation of these 50 shades: we’d be kinda out in an in sorta way.