Suspend your disbelief

Alison Steed

Alison Steed

As a result, we became desensitised over time to these methods, which if they were applied to children in a playground would result in a visit to the head’s office for a detention as a minimum.

There were lies and exaggerations on both sides of the Brexit argument in the referendum, which left most of us in the dark as to what leaving the EU would really mean.

But there can be no doubt that when we were voting, none of us had the intention that it would leave the UK weaker, more exposed to ridicule and more importantly, potentially without the ability to engage in free trade in some format with our biggest trading partner, the EU.

Already we have seen one quarter of falling GDP. Another at the end of this quarter would mean we are officially in recession, but we will only know that for sure when we see the figures at the end of September.

By the time they are out, we will have probably had the general election and may well be asking for a further extension to Article 50, while whoever is in power then attempts to sort out some kind of plan for progress.

Or we will be heading out of the EU on October 31, deal or no deal.

One thing is for sure, the ongoing uncertainty is not helping businesses, investors or advisers.

The lack of clear direction means it is near impossible to tell people what to do for the best – the answer is we simply do not know yet.

In fact, we do not even know when we will know, and therein lies the biggest problem.

The chances of having a majority government after another election feel pretty slim in the current climate, as the divisions in the country run as deep as they do in parliament.

But surely it is now time to work towards a ‘best case’ solution, rather than the win-versus-lose solution that is currently being sought.

The referendum was a democratic vote that should be honoured, but there is no getting away from the fact that the vote was based on a campaign of misinformation and scaremongering.

The ability to progress in this is more about understanding and appreciating a different point of view with far less aggression.

There is no right or wrong here, just different.

Yet while our polemic politics continue, there is a real risk we could be in this unhelpful and paralysing limbo for some time to come.

Alison Steed is a freelance journalist