The EU withdrawal process facing the United Kingdom.
1. No deal.
2. Preferential access to the EU markets
This most extreme option required the United Kingdom to revert tot he status of a normal third-party EU trading partner, where trade is organized according to a set of basic guidelines set out by the WTO.
This radical option did not include any preferential access to the EU whatsoever - meaning that all EU borders, including the one dividing the Republic of Ireland with the UK's Northern Ireland, would have to be respected as if the UK were a foreign nation, with onerous restrictions on the movement of goods and people.
To have preferential access to the EU markets, three variations were considered:
- signing a basic free-trade agreement,
- continuing to be part of the customs union, or
- remaining in the EU single market, implying full acceptance of EU norms.