A massive political and constitutional crisis is gathering pace in Britain. It began earlier this year, perhaps as early as February, when Prime Minister Theresa May began to run her own private policy on Brexit through officials in Downing Street and the Cabinet Office — a policy that was different from, and arguably opposite to, the Brexit policy that had the approval of the cabinet and the public. But it emerged that something unorthodox might be happening only two weeks ago, when reports began to circulate in Whitehall and Westminster that the prime minister would advise a Chequers cabinet meeting on the next Friday to choose a hitherto unknown “third way” rather than two earlier options for leaving the European Union Customs Union.
When an alarmed David Davis — the secretary of state for exiting the European Union — saw her on the Wednesday before Chequers (interestingly, the Fourth of July), she allegedly denied to him that any such third-way document existed. In the following two days, however, leaks from Downing Street made it clear that a showdown of some kind was in the offing. One aide, apparently thinking he was some kind of hard-nosed White House staffer from the West Wing television series, told the media that if a cabinet minister resigned at Chequers, he would immediately lose his official car and be compelled to stand on principle and take the long walk of shame to pick up a taxi at the gate.
I’ll let an extract from my account in the Australian pick up the story from there:
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