May above him, Hammond beside him and Robbins ahead of him, this pro-Leave politician will have embraced his new post knowing that he is hemmed in.
She didn’t establish herself as a strategic Home Secretary, but is a highly effective media performer.
The Prime Minister surely knows that doing so is damaging. But she appears willing to disregard the cost out of desperation.
So he’s left presumably unwilling to sell May’s deal on any other basis that it’s bad…but that the alternative is worse.
That’s the single fact that stands out from the “low tragedy, high farce” of resignations, splits, divisions, principles and ambitions consuming British and Brexit politics.
He is conflicted by disliking May’s deal yet being in the front line of a No Deal Brexit – and aware that as a Vote Leave figurehead he is unusually exposed.
She had little alternative after calling for a vote on the draft deal in Cabinet yesterday, and being rebuffed by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Secretary and the Chief Whip.
This blow to the heart of the Government does nothing to make a challenge less likely. Get ready for Run Raabit Run Raabit Run Run Run.
A new leader would need a new plan to reverse this evident humiliation of May’s leadership and of British statecraft.
Interpretation one: its members are talking at length, but there’s no real resistance to the Prime Minister’s draft Brexit plan. Interpretation two: it is running into trouble.
Losing both them and the DUP will send a very strong signal to every Conservative MP about its implications for the Union.
But although the Prime Minister looked calm, Nigel Dodds, parliamentary leader of the DUP, did not.
Not a lot, yet – but the two fundamental things we do know already provide cause for Eurosceptic concern.
If Graham Brady suddenly emerges this week to declare that a confidence vote is on, don’t be taken by surprise.
May’s choice today. The possibility of her Government collapsing soon…or the probability of it doing so now
The DUP hates the idea of Corbyn in Downing Street. But it is very hard to imagine it waving the draft deal through.