Insiders reveal previously muted economic arguments resurface, shifting mood towards ‘realism’, but Brexit secretary aide denies change of strategy

British officials have quietly abandoned hope of securing the government’s promised “cake and eat it” Brexit deal, increasingly accepting the inevitability of a painful trade-off between market access and political control when the UK leaves the EU.

Government insiders report a dramatic change of mood at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) since the general election, with growing Treasury influence helping force ministers to choose between prioritising economic interests or sovereignty.

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