IT’S not often that a Commons speech by a Tory MP keeps me sitting in the car, riveted by the sincerity and force of his argument for 15 minutes. But yesterday, former attorney general Dominic Grieve did just that, saying: “I have never felt more ashamed to be a member of the Conservative Party. I could have wept to see [Theresa May] reduced to these straits. Government credibility is running out. We are spiralling down into oblivion.”

As one commentator put it; “a magnificently incandescent Grieve and his genuine hurt were a powerful antidote to the notion all parliamentarians are self-serving.”

That’s true – but it still begs the question, how can a man who feels so strongly possibly remain inside the Tory party? There are rumours that by Monday he may have joined others in a new wave of resignations – but next week is put up or shut up week for all Britain’s MPs. They are being led by a “kamikaze” Prime Minister – and they all know it.

There’s only one question left – what will the majority who oppose both a hard Brexit and Theresa May’s rubbish deal actually do about it before time runs out?

This morning you’ll know if Theresa May amazed everyone last night by offering to resign, amend her deal or acknowledge she’s made a total hips of Brexit (as 90% of the public believe in a Sky News poll). At least she’s united Britain on that one.

Of course none of these things will happen. The Maybot will walk to her lonely podium, repeat for the zillionth time that her mission is to achieve the Brexit people voted for, stress how urgent things have become (her fault) and perhaps stick the boot into MPs again as she did during Prime Minister’s Questions before fixing the camera with that steely, slightly unhinged looking glare. So far, so normal in these crazy Brexit days.

But perhaps this time the Teflon Tory leader is finally about to come unstuck.

In her absence yesterday, an extraordinary truth session broke out during an emergency debate on her surprise announcement of a short extension to Brexit, forced through by Sir Keir Starmer.

As Labour’s Brexit spokesman pointed out, MPs only got time to discuss the wisdom of the Prime Minister’s unexpected decision because they demanded it – not because it was bestowed or scheduled by the government.

Indeed, it was the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who let voters know “our” Prime Minister would be addressing us on TV last night – not the British Government. We know the Cabinet is in disarray. We know collective responsibility has broken down, Ministers are speaking in support of proposals, then voting against them and Labour waxes hot and cold on the idea of a People’s Vote. Such abdication of political responsibility, such crazy game-playing, such a chronic inability to compromise is what “strong leaders” look like in Britain today.

BUT now May’s office is unable to complete even the most basic of communications tasks, the Tory leader herself has ducked a meeting of the 1922 backbench committee to avoid facing the music for one more day and has savaged MPs in the Commons, trying to shift blame on to them before her appeal – over their heads – to the voters on TV.

During Prime Minister’s Question she stunned many in her own party and beyond by claiming: “This House has indulged itself on Europe for too long... [voters] deserve better” – an unbelievable insult to MPs who’ve been ignored, sidestepped, lied to and excluded from votes on substantive Brexit issues until the 11th hour. Such insults to the people’s representatives demand a response.

Of course, Yessers feel little connection and have even less belief in Westminster institutions. But for the time being, our fate is yoked to that of England. An insult to MPs is an insult to all.

Tommy Sheppard was furious about the Prime Minister’s “serial contempt”, saying there was no doubt when the Commons approved the government’s motion last Thursday that MPs backed a short extension if her deal finally got through (and only needed a few extra weeks to complete legislative paperwork) and a long extension if her deal was thrown out again, leaving a new solution to be found through cross-party dialogue.

So the Prime Minister’s latest and maybe final volte-face this morning – announcing a short extension despite having no deal and therefore no acceptable treason for needing those extra weeks – is a dramatic breach of faith with MPs. That’s why, during yesterday’s emergency debate, members started shooting from the hip. I’ve had no great fondness for Yvette Cooper – during Labour’s leadership election she came across as rehearsed, on message and coached. But yesterday, and for the past few weeks, she’s sounded passionate about the option favoured by most non-Conservatives – holding a series of indicative votes on each possible option to see which one commands a majority in the House.

Sheppard made a powerful appeal to European leaders; “Understand that when this PM speaks, she doesn’t speak in our name and doesn’t represent our views. She has tried to appease the unappeasable. By now any reasonable and rational PM would have concluded she should leave the terrain or go back to the drawing board.”

Labour MPs like Swansea’s Geraint Davies finally broke ranks to suggest that revoking Article 50 might be the only option left to avoid a hard Brexit next Friday – an option only possible because of bold, independent action by a group of cross-party parliamentarians led by the Scottish Greens and the SNP.

IAN Blackford proposed that parliament should sit on Saturday – a move backed in principle by the Speaker as long as a motion to that effect is laid before the Commons today. This prompted the formidable Anna Soubry – of The Independent Group – to suggest MPs could go out of the Chamber and welcome young people marching in London at the weekend to demand a People’s Vote. (About a million people are expected).

But here’s the thing.

MPs can only go so far as they rail, flail, attack Theresa May and bemoan the collapse of integrity, direction and democracy in the Commons before Remain-supporting voters wonder how 650 people can be quite so toothless.

Prime Ministerial insults about the house “contemplating its navel on Europe” prompted powerful, eloquent words yesterday – but words are no longer enough.

MPs must act. And Donald Tusk may have given them the opportunity. The EU president appeared to throw a lifeline to Theresa May yesterday when he announced European leaders

could agree to the requested short Article 50 extension, but promptly snatched it back with the proviso that MPs must first pass Theresa May’s deal. That just isn’t going to happen.

But if MPs reject her deal, they must have an alternative plan ready to roll – potentially without Theresa May as Prime Minister since her remarks yesterday suggest she will quit if Brexit is delayed beyond June 30.

Even the conscientious SNP will not escape blame if a single rescue plan cannot be hatched and put in place by Monday. It’s time for progressives to bypass inflexible political leaders and for MPs to take back control.

If they can’t, even the most reasonable, appalled parliamentarians must share responsibility for what is to follow.