A true hard Brexit also means leaving the single market, which will impact upon our trade relationship with the EU in a massive way unless a trade agreement is reached during the Article 50 period. Albeit slightly late to the party, OpenEurope have reiterated that the prospect of agreeing such a deal within the two year framework is almost impossible, and that Brexit must be done step-by-step rather than abruptly. An investigation by the independent this week found that the cost to the British economy of exiting the single market without a trade deal would very likely be more than £4.5 billion a year.
The threat of a hard Brexit is starting to be fully understood, with Brexiteers and Remainers of all political persuasions uniting in an effort to rubbish the idea. Brexiteer Phillip Johnston writes that "Nigel Farage needs to stop telling me why I voted for Brexit", echoing the statement by George Osborne that "Brexit won a majority, not hard Brexit." In the Guardian Anne McElvoy argues the same point, and pushes for the Remainers, Brexiteers and Theresa May to start building the narrative around a gradual and de-risked Brexit. Sam Bowman from the Adam Smith Institute attempts to clear up the whole hard vs soft thing, and explains why he favours the latter. Jeremy Corbyn even came out firmly against a hard Brexit after winning the Labour leadership race. The hard Brexiteers are coming out in full force however, with Tory backbenchers setting up their own pro-hard Brexit group.
Elsewhere, Gary Robinson looks at a few of the exit strategies, in particular the Swiss option and it's suitability for Britain, and Liberal Brexiteer Ben Kelly argues that there will be no "bonfire of regulations" after Brexit, and that we shouldn't even want one.