Editorial: It is not too late to protect British jobs from the shock of Brexit

Editorial: It is not too late to protect British jobs from the shock of Brexit

David Frost, the British negotiator in the trade talks with the European Union, says there is no point in extending the transition period if that simply means it takes longer for the two sides to fail to agree. He has a point, but it poses a question for both sides. It is true that Michel Barnier, Mr Frost’s opposite number, has been imperiously inflexible in his conduct of the negotiations, but the British side has been inflexible too. If the British side were to adopt a more pragmatic position, we believe that the EU side would respond. Then there might well be a case for postponing our departure from the single market beyond 31 December in order to allow the intensive negotiations that would be needed. The Independent accepts that the UK has left the EU, but we continue to believe that leaving the single market without a deal, subjecting EU trade to border checks and tariffs under World Trade Organisation terms, would be the worst possible destination for the Brexit process.
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