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The Brexit chaos engulfing Whitehall

Bickering ministers provide no leadership. But officials have logic on their side, and could prevail in the end

By Sue Cameron   October 2018

Jolly Olly: the man with the Brexit plan. Photo: SIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Any analysis of Whitehall’s attitude to Brexit must start with that giant among mandarins, Olly Robbins. One of the tallest men in the British establishment, Robbins is chief Brexit adviser to Theresa May and architect of the Chequers plan for future relations with Europe. He is powerful, punctilious and eminently capable. He is also steely. Up before the European Scrutiny Committee of MPs in early September, he showed his mettle. Invited to accept that Chequers…

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