DOMINIC RAAB had to tread a particularly fine line as he walked the Brexit tightrope and revealed the first set of technical papers on the consequences of Britain leaving the European Union next March with no deal in place.
The Brexit Secretary had to show his Brussels counterparts that the Government is serious when Theresa May says ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ while, at the same time, talking up the prospect of an accommodation being reached.
At the same time, any exaggerations on Mr Raab’s part would have seen him accused of becoming a fully paid up member of so-called Project Fear, and betraying his Eurosceptic colleagues when he, himself, was an advocate of Brexit in June 2016.
Given Mr Raab was only appointed when his predecessor David Davis resigned abruptly over the Chequers Agreement, he finds himself in the most of invidious of positions.
For, while it would have been irresponsible of the Government not to highlight the impact of a no deal Brexit on consumers, it does so at a time when there’s so much mistrust in the entire process.
Mr Raab’s task is not helped by Article 50 being triggered before Britain had clarified its negotiating position and strategy. Now he’s in a race against time in the face of an inflexible Parliament. But it could be worse. If Jeremy Corbyn had been Prime Minister, he would have implemented A50 immediately after the referendum.