The Brexit deal was astonishingly bad, and every day the evidence piles up | Polly Toynbee

Trade has plummeted and red tape has blocked our borders. Is that what ‘protecting our sovereignty’ meant?

Now we know that British exports to the European Union plummeted by a cataclysmic 41% after Brexit on 1 January, what next? This is not the “slow puncture” predicted, but a big bang. Yet so far, it registers little on the political Richter scale.

It should shake the government to the core, but voters are well protected from this unwelcome news by our largely pro-Brexit press. Nor does BBC news, under Brexiteer mortar fire, dare do enough to rebalance the misinformation. Saturday’s Financial Times splashed that killer trade figure on its front page, but the Daily Express splashed “Flying start for US trade deal”. There is no “flying start”. Meanwhile, an EU legal action against Boris Johnson is starting this week, for his reneging on the Northern Ireland protocol and thereby imperilling the Good Friday peace agreement.

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