Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund has warned of “darker clouds looming” for the global economy amid simmering trade tensions between the US and China, urging governments around the world to steer clear of protectionism or face negative consequences.

Lagarde said the current system for world trade was “in danger of being torn apart”, with the potential to upset the present global economic upswing and make consumers poorer.

Given the wider negative diplomatic situation unfolding with Russia and the Middle East, there is every reason to be concerned. More than ever we need a good outcome in the Brexit negotiations.