This week we saw the absurd spectacle of the government supporting attempts to wreck its own Brexit plan, as the hard Brexiteers struck back following the Chequers agreement. This leaves the government with no foundation for negotiations with the EU, as there is no position it can take that will command the support of the Tory party. Its two options are to face down the hardliners and go full soft Brexit or crash out with no deal. They are pointless and disastrous respectively, but given the tiny modicum of leadership that would be required for the former the latter seems more likely.
Elsewhere, Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Among the highlights were Trump contradicting his own intelligence agencies to clear Russia of election hacking, calling an offer to hand over American spies and diplomats to Russia for interrogation a “great deal” and generally looking like Putin’s lackey in front of the world. The best case is Trump was under-prepared and out of his depth against a ruthless political operator, but theories of him being compromised by Russian intelligence are now being openly discussed.
Read what the team at FE consider to be significant over the current week.