So I've had a look at the understanding reached on the 'divorce bill'. Here are my thoughts:
- Protecting the rights of EU citizens already here is important, asking them to apply for permanent residency is an inconvenience, but a necessary one so we know who has a right to live here.
- The Common Travel Area cannot be eliminated in the British Isles anyway, it's been there for too long. Customs checks are impractical - but perhaps there could be a 'clearing house' system allowing for bulk payments each quarter?
- Any trade deal will likely involve us making some payments. There is no such thing as a free lunch in these matters.
- The UK should adopt standards for goods equal to or better than the current EU ones. That is effective regulatory equivalence while not tying ourselves to the single market rules if we don't want that; some goods might have to be labelled differently when rules diverge.
- This could still all go pear-shaped.