The customs union issue – and the fall in foreign investment to the UK – is consuming ever larger amounts of the party’s energy

Remain voters must wish someone had considered the Irish border question before they voted on 23 June 2016.

It probably would not have changed the outcome. The referendum, as the pollsters remind us, was a cultural phenomenon linked more closely to people’s attitudes to immigration and sovereignty than to economic success – a situation that persists today. Still, it would be satisfying to rewind and show that the reason many now believe Britain must stay connected to the EU for five years or so relates to complex customs rules and how they cannot be reconciled with open borders.

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Read More For Brexit Tories, the hard border is too hard a question

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