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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