In the event it leaves the EU without a
comprehensive trade agreement, what are the options left to the
UK to continue accessing the single market?
At the European Council summit on December 15, EU27 leaders
agreed to sanction progress to stage two of negotiations on the
UK's departure from the EU. Discussions will now focus on
agreeing transitional arrangements and a framework for future
UK-EU relations, including on trade and security. However,
significant obstacles lie ahead, not least the EU negotiators'
insistence that the UK cannot, as a non-EU member, retain the
benefits of membership of the EU internal market. There is also
continuing disagreement about how a physical border on the
island of Ireland might be avoided when the UK leaves the EU