This budget is the Tories’ big chance. Watch them waste it | Martin Kettle

Theresa May’s party remains shackled to deficit reduction. As a result, her chancellor’s job is impossible

History has few iron laws. Yet a reading of British history suggests at least one exception. Those who are at first described as mutineers invariably win the argument. Mutinies happen because a system has reached breaking point and cannot continue.

The 15 Conservative MPs whom the Daily Telegraph dubbed “The Brexit mutineers” this week can therefore take comfort. They are winning the Brexit argument. They are right to try to strike the Brexit deadline date from the bill, and right to demand proper legislative power over the final deal. These are preconditions for avoiding a hard Brexit that Britain cannot afford.

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