With apologies to William Shakespeare, fudge was the order of the day following the claimed completion of the first phase of the Brexit negotiations between the EU Commission and the UK governement.

Completion was claimed following a move from “no regulatory divergence” to “continued regulatory alignment” and ending with the UK and EU joint report issued in December which provided that “in the absence of agreed solutions”, all of the UK – not Northern Ireland alone – “will maintain full alignment with those rules of the internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support north-south co-operation.”

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