May offers new clarity on UK’s Brexit trade-offs

The shape of Britain’s future relationship with the EU has been slow to emerge. Last week saw progress, writes Dan O’Brien


Theresa May. PA Wire
Theresa May. PA Wire

Many areas of public and private life involve trade-offs. How cross-border commerce happens is a topical example.

The freer that trade is between countries, the less free the countries involved are to decide their own economic policies. This is to be seen in the pressure Ireland is under from some other European countries over corporation tax. These countries believe that Ireland is trying to have the best of both worlds – fully free access to a market of 500m people while at the same time using tax as a means of stealing a competitive march at their expense.

They want new EU-level laws to narrow the freedom members have regarding the taxing of company profits. While this matter is far from straightforward, it illustrates the trade-offs that arise as economic integration deepens (discussed separately in a short explainer to the right).

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