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I doubt the EU will budge – so Britain faces a tough choice

3 March 2018

10:30 AM

3 March 2018

10:30 AM

It can be impossibly hard to concentrate on the intricacies of the Brexit negotiations. But over the past week, we have got a certain bracing clarity. There are two logical British positions. We mostly turn our backs on the EU way of doing things, and become a noticeably different country — less European, less regulated. That is where most Conservatives seem to be heading. Or we conclude that the economic risk is too big and stick close to the EU, ceding freedom to strike new trade deals in order to keep those nearer markets fully open. After his speech, that’s where Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is going. What is being squeezed is the notion of a middle way — frictionless access to EU markets and maximum ability to diverge. I keep being told the EU will fold and give us this. Hooray if they did. But I see not a fragment of evidence for that. So it’s tough choices ahead; which will be resolved in the proper way — at a general election.


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