I’m struggling to find the flaw in Ian’s reasoning here (perhaps our pro Brexit regulars can help me?):
…even if somehow Angela Merkel were scared that the German economy could be crippled by, er, not being able to export freely to a smaller country like the UK, she cannot intervene to offer the UK a special deal. No one can.
Let us repeat: the EU is the Single Market and the Single Market is the EU. Let us also repeat: the Single Market is a market of rules. This is the fundamental point David Davis has failed to grasp.
For that reason, participation in the Single Market by any non-EU State is determined by which rules that State is willing to adopt. And that is the end of it. (Norway adopts nearly all of them, for example; Moldova just a few.)
David Davis therefore still hasn’t grasped that this negotiation is not “We give a bit, you give a bit”. It is essentially “Here are the rules of the Single Market; tell us which ones you no longer wish to apply and that will determine your level of participation in it.”