Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond are further apart on Brexit than anyone else in the inner Cabinet. But there is one thing they agree on, I say in The Sun this morning. In the last 10 days, both of them have expressed their frustration to close allies that Theresa May won’t make a decision; that Britain is at a nation-defining moment in its history and that there is no real leadership. Their interventions are an attempt to provide that leadership, to give people an idea of what Brexit will be like.
Absurdly, the Brexit inner Cabinet did not meet this week despite the fact that there is not yet a detailed UK position on what trade deal it wants with the EU. This lack of a position is creating the vacuum that both Boris and Hammond are trying to fill.
Every day the UK doesn’t know what it wants, is a day when it can’t make the case for its preferred solution. If the UK government had a detailed position, Theresa May could have used her trip to Davos to urge global businesses to put pressure on the EU to engage with the UK’s proposals. She could have built on the momentum created by the Italian PM saying that it is ‘totally unrealistic’ to think that financial services can be excluded from the UK-EU free trade deal. But all these opportunities are being missed.