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The triggering of Article 50 should jolt the last irreconcilable Remainers out of their fantasies

A man wearing a "still European" t-shirt with the EU stars forming a heart shape
Not for much longer... Credit: Paul Gover for The Telegraph

Only now, perhaps, will all sides accept that Britain really is leaving the EU. The triggering of Article 50 sets in motion a legal process. By the end of March 2019, deal or no deal, we shall be out.

Some commentators see this deadline as a disadvantage to Britain, but I’m blowed if I can understand why. Imagine the alternative.

If there were no cut-off, the EU would be able to string the process out indefinitely, exacting annual payments from us all the while, and creating the “long-term business uncertainty” that Remainers warned against during the referendum.

Plainly, it is in the interests of both sides to reach a deal. Equally plainly, both sides will prepare for a scenario where no deal is reached. But the overwhelming likelihood is that a mutually advantageous outcome will be found, in which several of the current arrangements are replicated through bilateral deals. 

Despite all the...

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