On the one hand, the Environment Secretary is in the very front line of a No Deal Brexit; understands the instrinsic difficulties it would bring to the movement of food and agricultural goods, and recognises that, even if these could be addressed swiftly, that might not be quickly enough for voters.
(It may also be that as one of Vote Leave’s two frontmen during the EU referendum campaign, the other being Boris Johnson, he feels particularly exposed.)
On the other, reports from yesterday’s Cabinet meeting agree that he doesn’t like Theresa May’s draft deal, though they diverge about the degree of support he eventually offered it. The sum of his argument seems to have been that a bad deal, or at least a flawed one, is better than no deal.
So the position he seems to be in, as we write, is that he is unwilling either to vote against the deal (and resign) or to speak for it. Though we add that he is unavailable for interviews today for family reasons that are known to this site.
As his dramatic pull-out from Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign reminded us, Gove is capable of dizzying about-turns – though there is a deep consistency to some of his long-held positions, such as his support for free speech, Israel and rigorous education. His would be another huge resignation, and it can’t be ruled out.
At any rate, ConservativeHome understands that he has certainly been offered the vacant Brexit Secretary post, which he has reportedly turned down. A leadership challenge to Theresa May, apparently imminent as we write, would flush him out one way or another.