JUDGING by the headlines, it’s been a great week for our Prime Minister. “Theresa’s triumph!” trumpeted the Daily Mail. “She did it!” cheered The Daily Express.

“UK MPs back Theresa May’s bid to change Brexit deal” reported the BBC with a straight face, despite the fact that the Prime Minister had just voted against her own deal – the one she’s spent weeks telling us is the only deal available. Confused? Don’t be – it’s all very simple really. No need to look so panicked.

She voted against her own deal after Parliament voted against a no deal – a vote that doesn’t really count because if the EU won’t budge on the old deal then there won’t be a new deal, and then there will be no deal. You see? Perfectly clear. There’s no need to start banging your head off the nearest hard surface, as everything is definitely under control.

READ MORE: Prime Minister's backstop fantasy brings no-deal Brexit closer

So after that meaningless vote there was another vote, this time on the Brady amendment. The MPs trudged through their crumbling museum of a workplace to give their verdict on this plan cooked up by a Tory backbencher.

This is where it gets a bit complicated, so in a bid to stop you from clawing at your own face with frustration, I’m going to explain it through the medium of theme song:

Here’s the story
Of a lovely lady
Who was trying to sell a deal with the EU
Things weren’t going very well
It was chaos
She was feeling pretty blue

It’s the story
Of a man named Brady
Who said ‘I have got a plan to see us through’
We’ll just take the deal
And ditch the backstop
It’s the most British thing to do

So the lady heard this fellow
And when she went to see her Cabinet at brunch
She said: “Let’s all just agree with his amendment”
And that’s the way they all became the Brady bunch

So this was not “Theresa May’s bid” at all. This was Sir Graham Brady’s amendment and she only decided to back it at the last minute. One might imagine that if she was truly in favour of a plan to replace the backstop with “alternative arrangements” – a proposition condemned as “nebulous” by Lady Hermon, the only independent Northern Irish MP – then it’s a little odd she didn’t adopt it much earlier.

We are, after all, due to leave the EU in less than two months. Tick tock, tick tock ... sorry, I didn’t mean to alarm you. Please stop wailing “we’re all dooooomed!” and ripping out clumps of your hair – I’ve only got a little bit more explaining to do.

So, the Brady amendment passed – “Victory!” “Triumph!” – and now Theresa May is packing her chunkiest statement necklaces in her overnight case, ready to awkwardly swagger back to Brussels to restart negotiations about the bothersome backstop.

The National:

The backstop, as I’m sure you know, is the safety net designed to avoid the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland. There are fears – I can’t imagine why – that during the Brexit transition period the UK and EU might not be able to come to an agreement on how to do this.

I’m glad you’ve stopped wailing and are looking a bit more optimistic, but I’m afraid I have some bad news to break to you – there will be no such negotiations. The EU has said it before, and will say it again: the backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement and the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement will not be re-opened.

Maybe they need to say it more slowly, and with less of a funny accent: “With-draw-al A-gree-ment means With-draw-al Agree-ment. Com-prend-ay-voo?”

Irredeemable knucklehead Boris Johnson clearly hasn’t grasped this, as he’s confidently claiming “it’s no skin off their nose” to re-open negotiations on the basis of a peace-threatening alternative-to-the-backstop plan involving technology that doesn’t yet exist.

I mean it’s not as if the EU has anything better to do – like, say, preparing for European Parliament elections that are less than four months away. And it’s no skin off their nose if the 20-year peace achieved by the Good Friday Agreement comes to an end. What do they care? It’s not like the entire European Union project is founded on a desire for world peace, or any nonsense like that.

That wasn’t meant to be a cue for you to start peeling strips of skin off your nose, although I appreciate I should have seen this coming. I’m just glad you’ve put down those pliers you were using to try to yank your teeth out.

I know there’s not much to feel positive about – with bids to postpone the Brexit date defeated, hopes of a People’s Vote fading fast, and no serious alternative to the deal that was rejected just weeks ago by a historic margin – but we must at least try to stay optimistic.

The UK seems determined to commit a monumental act of self-harm, but we need to keep our strength up. Not least because in a few months’ time the medicines might run out.