The answer to this question depends on how one weighs the trade-off between politics and economics.
Even a Brexit with a deal will impose a further hit on the UK economy. The idea we should have regulatory autonomy to help post-Covid recovery would have more force if its proponents could identify the kinds of regulation they had in mind.
The notion trade deals with other partners could compensate for lost trade with the EU was always fanciful. All the more so when major economies look set to become more protectionist post-Covid.
On the other side is politics. The PM’s USP is that’s he’s the man who delivers and he has said he won’t extend.
Moreover, some of his noisiest Conservative critics on lockdown are those who oppose extending transition. The latter might be a useful bit of red meat to throw them.
Balancing these competing imperatives is what we pay Mr Johnson to do.
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