The ebb and flow of the Brexit process does not encourage long-term, strategic thinking. The direction of travel within government, which is planning on getting a withdrawal deal approved by parliament before Christmas, swings from one cabinet faction to another.

While this unedifying scene is played out in newspapers and broadcasting studios, it is increasingly left to select committees, such as the international trade committee (which I have the privilege of chairing), to shine a light on the issues that must not be forgotten while members of the government argue among themselves about what kind of Brexit they think they want.

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