From its range of tailor-made trade deals to its habit of allowing Member States to break the rules, Brussels is more flexible than Barnier’s rhetoric might suggest.
Hardish in principle, softer in detail, she is crafting a position intended to get those elusive trade talks going as soon as possible.
I believe last week’s inner cabinet meeting at Chequers will be seen as a key staging post in Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Voters habitually opt for parties of the Right when times are tough, only to ditch them for the Left once there’s money to spare. But now populists seek to break the cycle.
Conservative values are not well-served by leaving a market to criminals. Changing technology and drug strength mean this approach is becoming ever more harmful.
What was sketched out yesterday, boiled down to essentials, sounds a lot like his Canada Plus Plus Plus. But no decision yet it seems on the Customs Union.
We don’t need a European solution; we need a global solution. We must think independent Anglosphere, not dependent Eurosphere.
Johnson’s speech today and the Commission’s basic take are strangely similar – Brexit points to a Canada-type settlement on alignment and divergence.
It’s often suggested that the Remain wing of the Cabinet wouldn’t wear such a choice. I doubt it.
Ministers need get a grip by acting collectively to agree a Brexit end-state based in reality and on what Parliament will approve eventually – and then stick to it.
Even Whitehall’s fiercest advocates of the need to stay as close as possible to the EU recognise that there are risks in being a rule-taker not a rule-maker.
The EAW is based on the flawed presumption of judicial parity between European nations. The UK should forge a new partnership where this is actually the case.
Each one of us will have a vote on any deal – and 73 MEPs may well be crucial to passing it.
Although some pretend the UK must choose between binary options, the reality of what is possible is rather different.
Don’t fall for the Commission’s spin: it has been the guardian of no fewer than 42 different models of association.