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As Brexit trade talks enter a make-or-break final negotiating stretch, the impending changes in Washington can’t help but influence things. President-elect Joe Biden isn’t going to express a view over fishing quotas or the impasse on state subsidies. But his election increases the costs for Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a failure in the negotiations.

A hard split won’t just damage Britain’s trade and political ties with the EU; it will irritate the Americans, too — especially if it creates problems with the Irish border.

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