Now the Brexit blame game will play out at the door of No 10

A deal is better than no deal, but the prime minister will be personally held to account for every negative impact on the UK

They left it late but a deal has been done. It will take some time to digest the details but it is clear that the agreement reached is thin. We should not kid ourselves that this is the full and comprehensive trade deal that the country needed in order to minimise the damage caused by our departure from the European Union. January will still involve yet further disruption to our trade (it is very regrettable that there is no implementation period). More importantly, in the longer term, the UK’s diminished access to EU markets will make us a less attractive place to locate jobs and investment.

The deal gives us tariff-free and quota-free access to the EU but this is far from the frictionless access that business wanted. Importing and exporting to the EU will become more bureaucratic, complex supply chains will struggle – putting us at a competitive disadvantage. Services, of course, see little direct benefit.

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