Sunday 22 April 2018

Developments amid the noise - but anything can still happen on Brexit

The range of possible outcomes for the UK's future relationship with the EU has still not narrowed, writes Dan O'Brien

Britain's complicated Brexit politics continue to prevent a decision on a trade-off being made.
Britain's complicated Brexit politics continue to prevent a decision on a trade-off being made.
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

This column tries to avoid the subject of Brexit. There have been many twists and turns in the saga. There are many more to come. Most of what has happened, and most of what will happen, is noise. Filtering out what is important is not easy because there is so much noise.

Over the past week there have been developments that, at this juncture at least, appear to be more than noise. Below, I have incorporated these developments, along with many others, into the seven scenarios for how Brexit will turn out, set out in these pages last June. Each scenario has been ascribed an updated probability.

Among the biggest changes since last June has been the coming to the fore of the Irish Border as a divisive issue. It was one of the three issues prioritised in the first phase of the negotiations, which concluded last December, along with money and the future rights of EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa.

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