The Brexit sides seek to fill the gap

Theresa May
Image caption Theresa May met the Estonian PM after Tuesday's Cabinet meeting

Theresa May didn't even manage to start her Cabinet meeting this morning, let alone get to the airport, before there was more trouble for the government over Brexit with the leak, and scoop for the website, Buzzfeed, of some of the government's homework.

The assessment that leaked suggests that under one of the potential scenarios, the economy would grow much more slowly over the next fifteen years.

But the real political significance is not the detail itself. There is nothing new about forecasts that show Brexit without a decent deal outside the EU will mean the UK is hypothetically less wealthy than it otherwise would be in the coming years.

That was, after all, the whole substance of the Remain campaign that failed.

It is also worth saying that over time Treasury, and many other economic forecasts, have been shown to be wrong time and again.

It is inevitable that MPs will continue to demand the documents and all the workings of all the potential scenarios are published, particularly after the unfortunate fandango over the other analysis that either did, or didn't exist. (Remember those?)

And it is more evidence for those campaigning for a relationship with the rest of the EU after Brexit that is, near as dammit, like the partnership we have right now.

But, for conspiracy theorists out there, and sometimes in politics, it is worth indulging in that for a moment, the fact this kind of "warning" leaked, when Cabinet ministers are only being shown these slides individually, and not even allowed to take the documents, before a crunch Cabinet committee next week, suggests that someone with friends in high places is trying to quieten the voices of those calling for a more dramatic break.

Until the prime minister makes her own particular preference known, both sides in this profound argument will endeavour to fill the space.

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