Emma Ann Hughes  

What everyone must realise about Brexit break-up

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

Brexit is a divorce – and the sooner everyone involved in negotiations and the parts of the nation crying for a "winning" deal realise this the better.

A close friend of mine is currently going through a painful, drawn out divorce and I can't help but see the parallels with the last two-and-a-half years of "negotiations" and the current bitter fallout over Brexit.

This week my friend hoped a financial settlement had been reached but her (eventually former) spouse wasn't happy so now she must wait until next May for a judge to step in and decide what constitutes a fair split of their marital assets.

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This week I am sure the nation's entire hopes were high that we were all finally going to know where we stood in a post European Union-world but instead it has descended into further back biting and squabbles.

Ultimately, the European Union is the bitter, resentful and rejected spouse who has been told by the UK that they are no longer satisfied with the relationship and they want to leave.

Rather than reflect on what caused the divide and how to forge a new healthy union out of the charred remains of a relationship that began with such high hopes, it is all about both sides not wanting to look like a loser.

There are no winners in any divorce – just differing degrees of losing at the time of the split.

The reason for this is, like a marriage, both sides entered the relationship with a hope of a lasting union and a true partnership.

The European Union began after the Second World War to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together were more likely to avoid going to war with each other.

The reason the relationship is ending is because 51.9 per cent of those who voted in the European Union referendum didn't feel like this was what they were getting out of being tied to bureaucrats in Brussels.

When you say you are leaving a relationship you are deluded if you think you are going to walk away with everything you want – everything you wanted was what you originally signed up for and that hasn’t been achieved.

This is the reality of the situation we are in with Brexit too.

Two-and-a-half years after the UK voted to exit the European Union, we finally have an agreement that has been reached with Brussels on how Brexit can take place.

Is it a perfect deal? Clearly not.

Ultimately this is a divorce – both sides are never going to be entirely happy.

However, with a divorce if one side suddenly finds themselves destitute and unable to keep their support side of the agreement you head back to court and agree a new financial arrangement.

Back in September, European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned the UK that future prime ministers would not be allowed to untangle any deal once it was agreed.