Cast your mind back to before the general election. Theresa May was governing with authority. The centre-right press was fully behind her. The anti-Brexit coalition that stretched from trade union leaders through Keir Starmer through Tim Farron through the CBI to Philip Hammond was cowed – and balanced out by pro-Brexit forces such as, most credibly, Vote Leave’s successor organisation, Change Britain. This was able to send talented backbenchers, such as Gisela Stuart on the Labour side and Michael Gove on the Conservative one, into the TV studios and onto the airwaves. The Tory European Research Group, marshalled via WhatsApp by Steve Baker, was working productively with Ministers.
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