It is almost 30 years since the Maastricht rebellion reached its peak in the spring/summer of 1993, precipitating the eventual demise of John Major’s government and paving the way for the 2016 EU referendum.
Followers of Conservative politics could therefore be forgiven for wondering how on Earth it had come to pass that one of those veteran Eurosceptics, Sir Bernard Jenkin, should find himself – three decades later – seemingly trying to bring down the man who finally “got Brexit done”.
For as the long-standing Tory MP for Harwich and North Colchester grilled the former prime minister on whether or not he had lied to Parliament over partygate, the distant sound of a fat lady singing could be heard slowly permeating through the corridors of power.
When he resigned as prime minister, Mr Johnson hinted at making a Cincinnatus-style comeback.
But as he appeared before the privileges committee on Wednesday – at the very moment Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal was sailing through the Commons – there was something last days of Rome-ish about the seminal events simultaneously playing out in Westminster.
Not only had a major Tory rebellion on the Windsor Framework spectacularly failed to materialise but here too was Brexit’s blond-haired poster boy struggling to take back control of his own political future.