From speaking to civil servants, it seems that – at least until recently – the Cabinet had not properly considered either a preferred end state or indeed transition policy.
Britain could flourish under the minimalist WTO-type settlement that seems to be his bottom line. But it is not the optimal outcome, and threatens a significant downside.
His Telegraph article message: “Britain can flourish on WTO”. And how it will inevitably be read: “With May out of Number 10 – and me in”. Watch for calls for his dismissal.
The policy paper provides welcome clarity, but it’s time the Treasury gave up on the fiendishly difficult model it prefers.
Claims that he slapped down his own department, which wanted a ten-year transition, are a sign that Ministers may be getting their act together.
The Chancellor has not always been well treated by his neighbour, and deserves support over public spending. But he has mishandled his internal position over Brexit.
The final article in the author’s five-piece series on how Britain must prepare for March 31 2019 – and has less than 600 days to get it right.
The process of choosing members is taking a long time. Some will wonder how departments can continue without full scrutiny for almost four months.
We should put the proceeds in a special Redistribution Fund to spend either on public services, or on poorer communities, or cutting taxes for the lower paid.
Doomsday predictions remain overblown, but the real, specific concerns of business are worth listening to nonetheless.
The current funding mechanism causes harmful cycles of feast and famine.
His Mansion House speech offered an opportunity to shift the tone of Brexit policy towards openness, liberalism, free trade and responsible capitalism.
There is only one priority: keep the Stalinists, trots, Islamist fellow-travellers, gender and feminist lunatics and, yes, the young deluded idealists out of power.
This first piece of a mini-series on what should be in the manifesto argues that the Conservatives must get serious about living within our means.
We have gained little, if any, benefit in terms of trade in return for the costs of membership.