It’s not just about Brexit – it’s deeper and longer-standing than that. Ironically, relations would improve if they each a bit more combative.
Its failures begins with the machinery of Government – the core civil service itself. This must be fixed.
So much of the Government’s strategy is predicated on the belief that this is impossible. But what if that’s wrong?
Speculation about pressure on Williamson, or calculation about Cabinet numbers, misses a key point: May must keep Davis and Fox onside.
The longer the delay in making a decision, the longer it will take for an alternative to be ready.
When I asked freight experts at a Treasury Select Committee hearing if we still had enough time, they said: “You would have to get a hell of a wiggle on.”
In my experience of departmental life, it will take at least six months before we can judge Javid’s management.
It is too fragmented to deliver this successfully – so a senior Cabinet minister should be tasked with bringing about change.
She will be feeling a hand of history on her shoulder, and wondering if the other holds a knife at her back.
Here are just a few of the ways that I have seen work and that government should be adopting more broadly.
We are likely to get a deal with something for everyone – a ‘softish’ Brexit with May-style immigration controls. But the longer-term offers great opportunities.
If you don’t like what the Treasury’s up to, criticise the Chancellor, who’s accountable for it – not those who work for him, who aren’t.
It’s often suggested that the Remain wing of the Cabinet wouldn’t wear such a choice. I doubt it.
That the company is a government customer isn’t the whole story. After all, few customers must manage the consequences of their supplier’s collapse.
Fairly or unfairly, the pro-EU cause is already associated with elites. The arrival of the Withdrawal Bill in the Upper House will do nothing to diminish that impression.