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The debate about a Brexit transition is a phoney war

From the Customs Union to free movement, we are still just chatting amongst ourselves. When we put our plans to Europe, there will be a painful collision with reality

By Jonathan Portes & Anand Menon  

Brexit Secretary David Davis. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

“Peace in our time.” Apparently that was how a Downing Street source described the joint article by Philip Hammond and Liam Fox published in the Telegraph last week on “transitional arrangements” after Brexit. And, appropriately enough, David Davis now has a piece of paper to wave on his trip to Brussels next week—the government’s “future partnership paper” on customs arrangements after Brexit. But will this truce prove lasting, or merely a prelude to a more protracted conflict? The whole…

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