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Trade talks take time and we don’t have any. What now in negotiations with Europe?

The usual approach to an impasse—waiting it out—is a luxury we do not have. Do government ministers quite realise the position the UK is in?

By David Henig  

UK chief Brexit negotiators David Frost with his counterpart Michel Barnier. Photo: Monasse Thierry/ANDBZ/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

The only eureka moment typically expected during a second round of trade talks is negotiators’ realisation that addressing vast amounts of detail and bridging fundamental differences will take rather longer than the original optimism of politicians implied. Last week’s downbeat statements from the respective EU and UK chief Brexit negotiators, Michel Barnier and David Frost, thus came as little surprise to those with previous experience. Crucially however, the usual solution—for talks to just…

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