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‘The leadership had neither the economic nous nor the backbone to face down the nay-sayers.’ Photograph: Stephen Chung/Alamy. This week’s debacle in Brussels leads to some very serious questions about the conduct of our exit from the EU. The article 50 negotiations have been conducted from the very beginning on the wrong premise: the belief that success or failure was determined by whether or not the UK was able to agree a trade arrangement with the EU. By setting that measure, the UK government immediately gave the best hand to the EU, as this outcome was in their gift, not ours. In fact, the trade deal is worth only a certain amount. The true measure of Brexit success is first and foremo... Full story

7 December