After setting out six tests for the Brexit white paper, Jill Rutter says it moves a considerable way to clarify the UK’s ideas for the future relationship – but leaves a big question mark over the Irish backstop.
Setting aside a telling-off by the National Audit Office and a stunt from Labour, Esther McVey has escaped unscathed from the Universal Credit row. Effectively she has not been held to account, says Benoit Guerin.
Unless it raises taxes or loosens its borrowing rules, the Government will have to cut spending on other public services by nearly 4% to pay for the recently announced NHS ‘birthday present’, warns Gemma Tetlow.
It was a mistake to set up DExEU – and its establishment caused the simmering resentment that erupted in David Davis’s resignation. Jill Rutter says the Cabinet Office should now be given responsibility for negotiations, so DExEU can get on with ensuring Brexit readiness.
With the Chequers deal, the Prime Minister seemed to have convinced her Cabinet to accept some cake was off the table. But even if she makes it through David Davis’ and Steve Baker’s subsequent resignations, she is far from making it through the political minefield of Brexit, says Jill Rutter.
More than a third of the Government’s major projects look unlikely to be delivered on time and on budget. Aron Cheung says that with Brexit sure to impose further obligations, ministers should be realistic about their ambitions.
Cabinet ministers will reportedly be offered “the softest of Brexits” when they arrive at Chequers. But, argues Joe Owen, No.10 appears to be assuming the EU will accept the ending of freedom of movement.
If it’s to be worth the wait, the long-promised Brexit white paper needs to give UK negotiators a clear mandate for phase two, rather than more options. Jill Rutter sets out the questions the white paper needs to answer.