Britain’s departure from the EU under Boris Johnson will dim prospects for the UK next year, with or without a free trade deal. At best the prime minister will secure a deal at the last minute that eliminates tariffs on trade, but there will be disruption, price hikes, protests and perhaps a clash on the seas.

Whatever the losses, the prime minister thinks they will evaporate in the sun-filled freedom to depart from the EU’s regulatory rule book. For all the talk of greater state intervention, Johnson has not changed his spots. His is a right-wing government with a strong ideological commitment to take the country back to where Margaret Thatcher left it...

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