We've another reappearance of that mistake that we must swing one way or another - exclusively that is - on matters trade post-Brexit. Sadly, it's the people who actually govern us making the mistake:
The UK is facing a binary choice between a deep trading relationship with the EU or the US, according to a report from MPs on the International Trade Committee (ITC).
Efforts to drop regulations in a bid to land a quick Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US could result in the erection of fresh trade barriers between the UK and the EU, the report claimed.
An in-depth 50 page examination of UK-US trade relations has highlighted the likely trade offs for the UK in securing an US FTA. Trying to build a closer relationship with the UK’s largest single-country trade partner could increase the size of the UK economy by 0.35pc of GDP but like all deal it would require "trade offs", the report warned.
UK exports to the US were worth £100bn in 2016, compared with £234bn to the EU in 2016, making any such trade off a difficult economic balancing act.
The full report is here.
The trade off simply doesn't exist. We can confirm this by pointing out that we already trade with both the EU and the US.
The mistake being made is to assume that in order to export to the US - or Monaco, the EU or Mars - then our internal regulation must conform to that of the US, Monaco, the EU or Mars. This is simply not so. Our internal regulation of whatever we want can be whatever it is that we want.
Those making things to export - again, to the US, Monaco, the EU or Mars - must make sure that their production accords with regulation in those intended destinations.
There just isn't a binary choice here. Our evidence, our proof of this contention, is that this is what we all do anyway. Car regulations are significantly different in the US than they are inside the EU. Jaguar Land Rover uses plants in the UK to supply both markets. They are therefore not making a binary choice, are they? They're manufacturing to both sets of standards, both sets of regulations.
We might add a third set of such regs as a newly sovereign economy, we might not. But it's still not true that all must manufacture to either US or EU standards, is it?