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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Jan-18 > The ties that bind

The ties that bind

Britain is at the centre of a delicate global trade web

The UK government seeks a deal with the EU that makes trade as “frictionless as possible” either via a “new customs partnership” or through “highly-streamlined customs arrangements” involving simplified requirements and smart use of technology. While the aim of ensuring “business as usual” may be laudable, it is clear that Brexit will result in reduced market access for both the UK and the EU. What is unclear is what will be agreed, and therefore to what degree and over what time period. Nevertheless, neither a new customs partnership nor a highly streamlined customs arrangement is likely to come close to replicating existing levels of market access. Additionally, the EU has free trade agreements with 67 countries and Brexit means the UK will no longer be a party to these arrangements.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s January 2018 issue: Five writers attempt to plot the impending advances in shopping, politics, sex, food and computing through 2018. James Plunkett looks at shopping and explains how personalised prices will hand even more power to the big companies; Theo Bertram outlines why political volatility is here to stay and what it means for us; Kate Devlin argues that sex robots are only a part of the impending sexual revolution; Stephanie Boland outlines why we’ll all end up eating lab grown food; and Jay Elwes explains the next steps in our computing quantum leap. Elsewhere in the issue: Dani Rodrik uncovers the truth behind the great globalisation lie—there were always going to be losers, Iona Craig delves into the war in Yemen—the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, Chris Tilbury explains why Britain urgently needs a plan for its failing prisons