Brexit: Why services matter in any deal

As Downing Street sets out details of a possible post-Brexit customs arrangement, one of the suggestions that has emerged about the government’s plans for the UK’s future economic relationship with the EU is that it may try – in effect – to stay in the single market for goods, but have a much looser relationship for services.

Even if the cabinet reaches agreement, that may well be a non-starter as a negotiating proposal: the EU has consistently taken an extremely dim view of any British attempt to, as it would see it, cherry-pick parts of single market membership.

But the economy is often, for statistical purposes, divided into goods and services.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics shows that in 2016 the UK exported £157.8bn worth of goods to the EU and the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and imported £266.3bn.

Read more here.

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