Paranoia and division is running rife in the Tory party - with the knives out for Brexit secretary David Davis.
Failing to line up key Brexit meetings. Working a three day week. ‘Not keeping his end of the bargain.’ Not criticisms by the Labour party, but allegations being made by senior Tories at their own Brexit secretary David Davis this week.
According to reports in the Telegraph today (paywalled), Cabinet members are claiming he has prevented the EU Withdrawal Bill from coming back before MPs. Yes, that’s the so-called ‘Great Repeal Bill’ that is needed in order for us to leave the EU without every single area of policy falling apart.
And his former Chief of Staff has said the man in charge of our departure from the EU is only working a three-day week. Even if untrue, it shows the levels of infighting and front-stabbing going on in upper echelons of the Conservatives.
All this comes as Davis told MPs this morning that they might not even get to vote on the Brexit deal until after we’ve left the EU – because, in his words, the vote ‘can’t come before we have the deal’, and the deal would come at the very last minute.
That was a message contradicted by Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions, telling MPs she is ‘confident… that we will be able to achieve this agreement and that negotiation in time for Parliament to have the vote we committed to.’ The split goes right to the top, it seems.
Add to that comments on the European side that Britain could end up with ‘no Brexit’ if we wanted to, and the UK’s departure doesn’t look as certain as it once did. Just when you thought Brexit couldn’t get any messier.
Meanwhile, hard Brexit campaigners have been accused of ‘peddling sinister McCarthyism’ today, after Chris Heaton-Harris MP, a government whip, sent a letter to a number of universities asking for lists of their academics teaching European studies, as well as information on their syllabus relating to Brexit.
With divisions growing in the governing party and in the public debate, it’s anyone’s guess where we’ll be after two more years of this.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on TwitterLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.