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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Oct-18 > Chequers mate

Chequers mate

Ignore the political posturing on Brexit—officials have logic on their side, and could prevail in the end

Sue Cameron

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 was dead, Robbins gave his inquisitors a hard stare. The proposal, he said, was “credible and sensible.” It remained “the government’s collective position.”

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s October issue: Rafael Behr argues that politics has been poisoned by Twitter—the platform often drives the political news agenda, encourages people to descend deeper and deeper into echo chambers and sees MPs and their families regularly abused. Meanwhile, former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger explains how Oxford picks its students and says that more needs to be done for the colleges to be more inclusive. Also, Jasmin Mujanovic outlines how Bosnia’s elections this month could tip the country back into conflict. Elsewhere in the issue: Alex Dean highlights the alarming decline in the number of students studying a foreign language at GCSE and beyond. Will Self reviews a series of new books about liberalism, arguing that “we need more than just social freedoms and the free market.” Aimee Cliff charts the story of the dying dream that London would be a 24-hour city.