Not long at all

Remarkable again – yes, it’s less than three and a half years to the year 2020.  It doesn’t seem five minutes ago that the millennium was all the talk.  That strange construction; The Dome was the darling of the newspaper columnists.  At the turn of the Century, I had imagined we would have flying cars by 2020.  Just like that crazy flying taxi driven by Bruce Willis in the 1997 movie The Fifth Element.  Incidentally, his screen character was called Korben – sound familiar?

What I’m getting at is that there aren’t many really big projects that get launched and delivered in only three and a half years.  Hang about, it’s just over three and a half years to the next UK General Election.

One might reasonably suppose that the mechanics of Brexit are going to prove to be massively more complex that even a latter day managerial pessimist might think.  Three and a half years to rewrite a vast catalogue of legislation.  Three and a half years to deploy world class negotiators left, right and centre.  Three and a half years and no other monumental events get in the way?

This could be 42 months of; let’s see how it goes.  There’s a grand number from the book of science fiction humour – 42: The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.  I wonder what Douglas Adams would have thought about the referendum and all its characters?

We are in a period when the ship of State is sailing through a storm that rises and falls in an entirely unpredictable manner.  As the Brexit project gets underway it will be shaped by the frequent storms ahead.  By the time we get to the run-up to the next General Election what we call Brexit is likely to be a very different thing from what it’s imagined to be today.  The public mood will be different too.

I’m hopeful that the reality of this situation is that a new accommodation can be found that doesn’t disconnect the UK from the rest of Europe.  Our shared problems will remain our shared problems.  Our shared solutions may continue to be our shared solutions.  All but the precise shape and form of our international relationships will be different.  Let’s be positive and optimistic.

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