You wouldn’t think it from listening to the BBC, watching Sky News or ITN nor from reading the Daily Express. But as negotiations on Brexit continue, the UK and EU may find they can strike a grown up and wide-ranging deal after all.
It could be rather an anticlimax for all those politicians and commentators in Westminster who tell us that things are about to get very nasty. (Paradoxically these are the same politicians and commentators who used to tell us the EU had the UK’s best interests at heart.)
Brussels insiders tell me that there is less anger around than on the day after the result last year. While the political class is disappointed, they recognise the need not to self-harm by cutting the bloc off from the UK. Some even blame themselves for overestimating British support for the European project in the first place.
I have no doubt we are on course for the ‘balanced, ambitious and wide-ranging free trade agreement’ that the EU Presidency says it wants – just as soon as agreement has been reached on how much it is going to cost the UK to extract itself from its existing financial commitments to EU projects.