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“Tonight’s statement offers up many more questions than answers. How far, in practice, would UK regulations be able to diverge from the EU’s, or have we just regained control in order to copy their rulebook? And how would a facilitated customs arrangements differ from the New Customs Partnership, which practically no-one thought would work?
“It is unclear whether freedom to diverge on tariffs will be enough to do new trade deals with third countries if we cannot also diverge on non-tariff barriers and regulations. Moreover, it is not apparent what becomes of financial services. Will we press ahead with proposals for mutual recognition? If so, it begs the question of why if mutual recognition is good enough for the City, it is not good enough for goods?
“In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether the Government will at least press ahead with contingency plans for ‘no deal’, or whether all the flexibility is going to be further towards an even softer Brexit. And who knows, perhaps the EU will reject these proposals anyway.”
Notes to editors:
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