Northern lights

If, as looks increasingly inevitable, our dysfunctional government is unable to negotiate an orderly withdrawal from the EU, we may, enthusiastic Brexiteers tell us, end up enjoying the delights of free trade with the rest of the globe, especially North America.

I wouldn’t say that I was particularly keen on this, not least because we already have beneficial trade arrangements with most of the world, through the EU, and any unilateral deals we negotiate, from what will be an isolated and weakened position, are likely to be inferior, particularly in the areas of labour rights and environmental protection. However I could perhaps be persuaded of the virtues of a new accord with Canada, so long as it allows for tariff-free export of that nation’s new favourite product