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2017 was the preamble—in 2018 the Brexit challenge really kicks off

A former top-ranking British diplomat says that the hard part is yet to come

By Peter Ricketts  

Photo: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

Brexit sucked most of the oxygen out of British politics in 2017, leaving little to spare for domestic policy priorities—and still less for anything resembling an active foreign policy.

Yet 2017 was the preamble, the easy bit. 2018 is the year when real choices will have to be made, which will define Britain’s relations with Europe for the next generation. The way in which British government has handled the negotiations so far doesn’t give much ground for optimism that wise choices will be made: but…

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