Of course there will be a Brexit trade deal. The two sides have too much to lose from failure. Boris Johnson has form on this. Britain’s prime minister will quietly submit to Brussels while claiming a famous victory. The EU will bend just enough to supply the fig leaf.

The counter case is just as easily made. Johnson has a large and stable majority in parliament. His party is united in wanting to raise the drawbridge on its own continent. Its devotion to a narrow interpretation of national sovereignty has become an obsession. Addicted as he is to grand gestures, and never troubled by facts, the prime minister will drive the UK over the cliff.

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