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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > December 2016 > A hard Brexit will spell hard times

A hard Brexit will spell hard times

The belief that the UK can go it alone defies economics, geography and the law

The pound in your pocket has lost 15 per cent of its foreign purchasing power since the Brexit vote on 23rd June. This is now pushing up the price of Marmite, Apple Macs and much else. While the economy slowed by less than expected in the three months to September, Britons are already decisively poorer, because currency markets believe the UK is headed for a very harmful hard Brexit in 2019.

While prime minister Theresa May glibly insists that “Brexit means Brexit,” Britain’s future relationship with the European Union could take different forms. Much depends on how brutally, or not, the UK severs itself from European Union trading arrangements, such as the customs union and the single market. “Hard Brexit” means something very specific—tearing ourselves apart from all of this.

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In Prospect’s December issue: Sam Tanenhaus argues that Donald Trump was born to be a campaigning demagogue, but will he be too bored to rule? Ed Miliband and Michael Gove debate whether parliament should have a binding vote on the terms of Brexit and Christian Wolmar examines the driverless car delusion. Also in this issue: James Harkin examines the situation in Syria, focussing on Raqqa Ruth Dudley Edwards explores the battle in Ireland since the UK’s decision to leave the EU—will the border become a division? And Michael White looks at the life of Alan Johnson, the Labour MP and former postie.