Squabbling between Whitehall and Brussels over how post-Brexit trading will play out may actually be pointless after all. What will negate all that, apparently, is 3D printing.
A report by Dutch bank ING has concluded that almost a quarter of world trade will be wiped out by 2060 as firms use 3D printers to manufacture goods at home rather than import from abroad.
And such a scenario is a conservative conclusion. In a report entitled “3D printing: a threat to global trade”, an alternative scenario suggested as much as 40 per cent of global trade could be erased by 2040.