In the last two days the Government has published two key Brexit reports: a ‘future partnership’ paper on UK-EU customs arrangements and a position paper on the Northern Irish border, two closely interlinked issues. The two papers reveal a familiar Brexit dilemma; how to balance maintaining the benefits of the current set-up – smooth trade in goods and a virtual Irish border – with seizing the benefits of ‘taking control’, namely the ability to strike new trade deals around the world.

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