Just Get Brexit Over With? Businesses Fear Prolonging the Uncertainty

“In addition to uncertainty about what’s going to happen, now there’s uncertainty about when it will happen.”

By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

With each passing day, the fog of uncertainty surrounding Brexit thickens, with myriad knock-on effects for businesses on both sides of the English Channel. “Companies no longer have any idea what they should be preparing for,” Martin Wansleben, executive director of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain. “In addition to uncertainty about what is going to happen, now there’s uncertainty about when it will happen.”

The UK parliament’s advisory non-binding votes of the past week to seek to delay the country’s departure from the European Union and reject any form of no-deal Brexit, rather than providing much-needed clarity, have produced yet more confusion and uncertainty. And that’s the last thing businesses need.

Seventy percent of German companies with business in Britain expect further erosion of business confidence in 2019, while just one in five of those firms said its UK business was going well, says Wansleben. Eddie Rouse, a logistics manager at German machine-tool maker Heller Maschinenfabrik, said the following on Brexit planning:

“If someone would just make a decision, good or bad I don’t really care, then I know what I’m dealing with.”

It’s a sentiment that is widely shared, particularly among logistics companies that have spent the last months exhaustively preparing for a no-deal Brexit on March 29. Rem Korteweg, a senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, reported on Friday that roughly half of the logistics managers who attended a Brexit event he chaired said they would prefer the certainty of No Deal to the uncertainty of a Brexit extension.

If the EU’s 27 Member States agree to grant the UK a stay of execution at the next European Council summit, on March 21, the Brexit deadline could be extended by as little as two months or by as long as two years. The longer the extension, the greater the likelihood of a referendum being held that might — or just as equally might not — cancel out Brexit altogether, albeit at the risk of further polarizing the British public, destroying what little trust remains in the political establishment, and plunging the country into a political and constitutional crisis.

It’s possible, though unlikely, that the mere prospect of such an unsavoury outcome will force the more extreme Brexiteers in the Conservative Party to finally throw their support behind Theresa May’s widely loathed Withdrawal Agreement at the third time of asking. There’s also a chance that the extension is not granted, May’s Withdrawal Agreement is not passed, if indeed a third vote is even allowed, and the UK crashes out of the EU by default on March 29, in which case businesses will need to activate those contingency plans after all.

Is it any surprise that many of them are at the end of their tether?

They include three major car manufacturers — BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Honda — that all plan to close their factories in April from between a week to up to a month to mitigate potential disruption from a no-deal Brexit. A delay would wreck such contingency plans as shutdowns like these involve months of planning so employee holidays can be scheduled and suppliers can adjust volumes, making them hard to move.

Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive of the industry group, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said that any extension of Article 50 “must be purposeful and long enough to give business stability and Parliament time to reach consensus to end the deadlock.”

But consensus is the one thing that has been impossible to achieve on Brexit. As the last month of political theater and farce have shown, parliament is riven down the middle on the issue, as is the country as a whole. According to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer, exactly the same percentage of voters (43%) believe there should be a second referendum on Brexit as think the UK should leave the EU without a deal.

Extending the deadline by an extra year or two, in Brussels’ classic can-kicking style, may not be enough to break the impasse. And the cost, in terms of continued economic pain and uncertainty, could be huge. “Further delays will mean households and businesses remain hostage to the crippling economic uncertainty that has already plagued them since the referendum,” says Catherine McGuinness, policy chair of The City of London Corporation.

Prolonged heightened uncertainty is like sand in an economy’s gearbox. It’s already taking its toll on the UK economy. Investment fell quarter on quarter all through last year for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008-09, according to the Office for National Statistics. Fresh inward investment in the UK’s automotive sector plunged 47% to just £589 million in 2018.

Investment in many other areas is also suffering. Last week IHS Markit reported that UK employers’ staff-hiring intentions had plunged to a six-year low in February, while ManpowerGroup’s latest survey of UK employers found that growing numbers of companies are preparing to cut jobs across the country following a sustained period of rising job creation that drove unemployment to its lowest level since the 1970s.

Many of the worst doom-and-gloom economic predictions that were made before the referendum, including a deep recession or a mass exodus of jobs from the City have so far failed to materialize. Even at this late stage, less than two weeks before the Brexit deadline, the unemployment rate in the UK is two and a half points below the EU average. But the cracks are beginning to show. And prolonging the uncertainty for another year or two is only going to help them grow while making the UK an even more ungovernable mess. By Don Quijones.

Shareholders got wiped out, 14 Months after its competitor Carillion collapsed. Read…  Outsourcing Giant Interserve with 65,000 Employees Collapses

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  35 comments for “Just Get Brexit Over With? Businesses Fear Prolonging the Uncertainty

  1. The referendum was “advisory” and not legally binding although MPs can make it so. The UK does not break out automatically if nothing is done. The real issue is Ireland and Scotland, which will probably “break out” of the UK. The head of Sinn Fein is against it; Irish radicals prefer their status as an offshore corporate tax shelter? Which is really the bigger issue, can Apple continue to park money there outside the US tax system? Juncker seems to be someone who really wants his bluff called. May is said to support Brexit, why didn’t she just sit back and let it happen? Any second referendum which narrows the margin in the first is bound to put the whole thing off indefinitely. Apparently the UK is having their US 2016 moment.

    • d says:

      If one is going to pontificate on this topic, at least do it with the truth.

      “The UK does not break out automatically if nothing is done. ”

      If England does not withdraw its article 50 notice, or come to some other arrangement with the EU, on 29 of March 2019. It IN FACT DOES leave the eu with no deal no matter what legislation in the English house states.

      “May is said to support Brexit, why didn’t she just sit back and let it happen?”

      May voted for and supports remain.

      She took the political mandate to leave and has attempted to carry it through.

      Clinton’s win of the popular vote, and failure to attain the presidency and Mays failure to date in brexit both occurred as both faced insurmountable forces massed against them.

      Starting with.

      ” “J’aurais réussi ma mission si, à la fin, le deal est tellement dur pour les Britanniques qu’ils préféront rester dans l’Union.”

      In English: “I’ll have done my job if, in the end, the deal is so tough on the British that they’d prefer to stay in the EU”.

      The speaker, as you have probably guessed, is Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. ” (you could litigate and probably win that the Eu has never negotiated in good faith.)

      May has always understood something I do.

      There is no way the Eu would ever give the English a deal that is workable in which they can retain any degree of self respect.

      The Irish and Spanish seized brexit as a way to stab the English in the back and gain territory.

      Hence The only realistic way to leave the Eu was always NO DEAl.

      Sadly the English have not prepared for no deal in the past 2.5 years.

      Democracy and particularly parliamentary democracy in its current form is a failed experiment.

      The original reasoning for Parliament was to prevent unfair taxation, and prevent the throne engaging in wars of whim and ego.

      Tony blair engaged in illegal war of whim and ego, funded by unfair taxation.

      Hence to much power has obviously devolved from the sovereign to parliament as the sovereign could not prevent blair engaging in illegal war of whim and ego.

      The actions of a biased pro Eu speaker have brought English parliament almost to Anarchy.

      No matter what happens the English political system in its current form is now broken beyond repair.

      Today the Eu laughs at England. The french with glee. The Germans with sadness as they do not cry in public

      Unless the Eu seriously changes its ways the brexit fallout will destroy it as well. Either way, Eu banking is still way to fragile, to weather the brexit storm, heading its way.

  2. Old Engineer says:

    I have believed since the beginning that Brexit was unlikely. The City of London was against it, the leadership of both major parties was against it, and the rest of the oligarchy of the UK was against it. I think May has shown herself very masterful at doing what politicians do in that situation: procrastinate. She now has on offer to the Parliament two choices: her Brexit, which is not a very hard Brexit; or a postponed (probably indefinitely) Brexit.

    The Brexit was demand for one reason: keep out foreigners. But unless the open border between the UK and Northern Ireland is closed, possibly restarting the “Troubles”, that seems to be the one thing that Brexit cannot offer.

    The British could end their occupation of Northern Ireland and the Brexit could be hard and trivial. But the same jingoistic ultra conservatives who don’t want any foreigners in the UK also don’t want to give up another piece of the “empire”. So they are basically screwed. Thus it seems likely that May will win.

    I don’t think this has been a disaster. I think Ms May is a very canny lady and this has gone exactly as she as planned it.

    • char says:

      Brexit will happen. The 27 want Britain out. They just need a way to blim the British

    • Eisel says:

      The Brexit was demand for one reason: keep out foreigners

      Yet the leaked reports show plans to increase immigration post brexit (see migration watch)

      Plus Germany has greater controls on intra EU and extra EU immigration the UK has chosen not to exercise these rights plus it also has custom staff at the door.

      The politicians have blamed EU for immigration caused by the lax rules demanded by their corporate sponsors and the public ate it up.

    • d says:

      Dont know much about norther Ireland do you.

      “But the same jingoistic ultra conservatives who don’t want any foreigners in the UK also don’t want to give up another piece of the “empire”. So they are basically screwed.”

      The Protestants in Northern Ireland who are against the backstop, are not Irish or English, they are in fact Scots.

      The same type of Puritan “Regicides” who were allowed to leave England post Cromwell.

      ( London would gladly be rid of them however the acts of genocide expropriation and expulsion by catholics that would ensure if London surrendered the 5 counties to ireland would be laid at Londons feet so its not happening.)

      The Americans call them Pilgrims and celebrate them. This is what happens, when Fairy stories of a group, become “History” They were the Taliban and ISIS of their time.

  3. Eamonn Harter says:

    The British public said OUT 3 years ago. Now get OUT! Britain should have started negotiating trade agreements as a WTO member a long time ago. All the fear propaganda is just much ado about nothing. PM May is incompetent and needs to resign.

    • I tend to follow your point, but it seems that this whole thing is dependent on a few people in England. The demographics are stacked against it.

  4. Rick says:

    Rest assured a hard Brexit will be good for the market. Just look here: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/03/18/hard-brexit-could-benefit-uk-and-emerging-markets-mark-mobius-says.html
    The propaganda has already started.
    Hard Brexit = Good
    Soft Brexit = Good
    No Brexit=Good
    Every Brexit is good in a market run by the state.
    Who needs capitalism when we have central banks?

  5. SocalJim says:

    The more BREXIT drama, the higher markets go. Everytime a BREXIT scare hits, central banks get worried and provide liquidity. For real estate and stock investors, whats not to love?

  6. Petunia says:

    Brexit is a divorce and the UK should have just left and dealt with the legalities afterward. If the will of the people is not respected then they know what the power of a vote really means, nothing.

    • Auld Kodjer says:

      Thank you Petunia.

      It is the will of the people, and their universal right to self-determination. Companies don’t get to vote. But apparently their vainglorious directors get to cry like babies at the thought that their bonuses might be interrupted. And then blame “Brexit uncertainty” for closing factories that they were already going to close anyway.

      The City is still glorious, the people of rich multicultural diversity are still employed, and the sky is not falling.

      Given a choice between the “certainty” of continuing to be rogered by Brussel’s incompetent bureaucracy run by drunkards and liars like Juncker [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPgiI46FCDU] – together with the “certainty” that the EU is economically a sinking ship – or the “uncertainty” of a timetable to get out of that mess, then all spoils to the patient.

      • fajensen says:

        I think that Brexit has shown Brussels to be surprisingly competent, very effective in projecting power, and not the kind of squishy pushovers we had come to suspect.

        Projection of power, that is what trade deals represent. Britain has not got much left of it, much to the despair of the Brexit headbangers who can’t even keep a coherent world view:

        They rant and rave about “unelected this and that” while they at the same time enthuse about how truly unelected, not imagined to be unelected, people like German Business Leaders will impose their will upon government and EU and give the UK all those nice things “The People Willed into Existing” after all.

        Brexit was/is a fantasy of the 5-year old mind: “The Will Of The People”, on it’s own, not hard work, no effort involved, no costs, and no thinking or planning at all (because all of those shows a disturbing lack of faith), is indeed all that it takes to get everything one might desire to have!

        If anyone thinks Brussels will “just” kick the can down the road, then they forget that the EU has expressed that they have interests and objectives too. The EU clearly have a very minimal interest in a new EU parliament riddled with Farage-types, UKIP’ers and Worse, fully energised over “The Betrayal of Brexit”.

        The UK parliament for their part still remains incapable of organising any firm decision “For” something or anything really, which is what the EU demands to have before granting any extension.

        Personally, I think the odds of Britain going on the 2019-29-03 is about 80:20. The default setting is OUT, work has to be done to change that to “Not-OUT”.

        I should probably short the indexes some more, but, I am bored with the whole useless proceeding.

    • Chris says:

      This is the sentiment that I most agree with.

      Despite all of the predictions of doom and gloom for a no-deal Brexit, it’s not as if it will require a Dunkirk evacuation, followed by another London blitz. There will be no U-boats to cut off the island nation this time. Things will be okay, even if they’re not okay at first.

      They can work it out, and I have no doubt that they will muddle through somehow.

  7. GuiriCateto says:

    I been doing my exhaustive logistically planned


    is not so much and they always giving exagerations to everythin cause they just wanting soft toilet paper everyday.

  8. KGC says:

    The media seems to overlook the fact that it doesn’t matter if Parliament voted not to leave without a deal. The EU has to agree to extend the time allowed, and frankly if I was in the EU I wouldn’t give them any. The deal took two years to reach, it’s been sitting there for six months, and if everyone involved in putting it together has said this is all there is.

    Since Parliament can’t seem to come up with a realistic alternative (again, after three years) I high doubt they can come up with one no matter how long they’re given without a complete change of Government.

    Push them out of the nest and see if it flies. And if it doesn’t and they want back in make them accept ALL the conditions other members of the union have to abide by.

    The UK grows less important daily due to this outstanding strategy of David Cameron’s.

  9. MF says:

    “…destroying what little trust remains in the political establishment, and plunging the country into a political and constitutional crisis.”

    To my admittedly U.S.-tainted perspective, political instability isn’t a consideration of any of the entities that have a seat at the negotiating table. Ms. May is supposed to be the person that looks out for UK voters, but there is scant evidence that she is.

    Britain has a long history of letting itself get blindsided by popular revolts, but it always seems to muddle through somehow. Let’s hope it pulls through again this time.

    If it suffers a massive systemic shock which causes a Lehman Moment, we’ll all share in the pain.

  10. Just Some Random Guy says:

    Brexit was never going to happen. Doesn’t matter what the people vote on the Powers That Be rule as they please. See also, 2016 Election here.

    • Libra Medicine says:

      Brexit is already in the process of happening. Cromwell knew how to deal with ignorant Parliamentarians. That is why there is a statue of him outside, to remind the Honour- rabble to deliver the will of the people. Law is what Brits do. Its what they have always done (fought for). Through vikings and picts and gauls and romans. Stonehenge was a gathering place where the law was decided. King Arthur’s spirit lives on. The paintings by William Dyce in the Robing Room of the Palace of Westminster illustrate the chivalric virtues of hospitality, generosity, mercy, religion and courtesy, as depicted in scenes from the legend of King Arthur and his court. It is at the heart of the country still.

  11. sunny129 says:

    I am forced to read, less & less on reports/article/comments on this BREXIT

    Everything is speculation and pontification, going nowhere since ’16. The key problem is that there are so many splintered/vested groups with their own agenda. And every one of the ‘want the CAKE and EAT it too”

    I don’t know WHEN & WHAT will happen. I have NO bone it except the effects on my holdings in the mkt, which is going to less than minor.
    If it slides into Atlantic, that is ok too!

  12. WES says:

    Brexit may appear to many to be a fubar mess.

    However the same can not be said for the unelected EU beaurocrats!

    Brexit is a looming disaster to be avoided at all costs!

    Their very existence depends upon the tens of billions extracted from Britian!

  13. Kenny Logouts says:

    The biggest issue in the UK is no PR.
    In the last election UKIP took many votes, maybe 20% was it… but they got 1 seat out of hundreds.

    While 20% can vote and get essentially no representation that isn’t a good system.

    The UK has a long road to go down.

    The brexit vote/outcome is just another lesson the uk people are learning about how their political system is unfit for purpose.

    They vote, they’re misrepresented.

    I’m just curious how long people will remain silent and stupid for, before outright and sweeping protest votes.

  14. fjcruiserdxb says:

    As the Brexit Withdrawal Act cannot be put back to a vote to Parliament unless it is amended or substantially amended (as per the Speaker’s ruling last night) the UK is still officially leaving on Mar 29th by law. The ball is now in the EU camp. Should they fail to amend the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will leave on WTO terms.

    • fajensen says:

      Sure, the EU will care about Brits huffing and puffing about throwing their toys out of the pram, of course assuming they can agree on what a pram is, which toy to throw and the side the toys goes over.

      In the meantime, while this important matter is being sorted out and decided, the eminent Chris Grayling will be right onto doing a bang-up job of fixing them WTO terms for you.

  15. Realist says:

    Brexit is a nice mess. No plan A and no plan B …. Cameron does earn his place as one of the worst British PMs together with Camberlain & co.

    A fun fact, Reese-Mogg, the arch-brexiteer with his nice Norman family name, has moved the registration of his company to Ireland. If Brexit would be so benefical for Britain, why did he do this ?

  16. Jack says:

    Ponder these points raised in an article by
    appeared in FP :

    “- Britain continues to demand a privileged relationship with the EU that Brussels will not, and probably cannot, agree to.

    – At present, trade between Britain and the rest of the EU is seamless.

    – Honda’s factory in Wiltshire, a short drive west from London, the firm holds just 36 hours’ worth of inventory. Some orders from EU suppliers arrive there in less than 24 hours.

    – Britain’s food industry relies on just-in-time deliveries from suppliers all over the continent; there is currently no need for refrigeration at ports because food does not need to be checked.

    – Following a no-deal Brexit, frictionless trade in goods would end overnight.

    Everything coming into Britain would need to be checked at the border, but the country does not have the infrastructure to do this!

    – The port of Dover in Kent, the nearest point in Britain to the continent, handles around 2.6 million trucks a year.

    – British-based financial firms would lose overnight their right to sell their services across the EU—their so-called passporting-rights.

    – The Bank of England estimates that around £29 trillion (approximately $38 trillion) of derivatives contracts, including 90 percent of euro-denominated interest rate swaps, would be hit by a no-deal Brexit.

    – Faced with such economic turmoil, the British pound would fall steeply, probably taking the currency below parity against the euro and to 40-year lows against the U.S.

    – A hard Brexit could also lead to a crash in the property market, especially if the Bank of England is forced to raise interest rates sharply.

    – The biggest hit to British living standards would arguably come through the impact of no deal on investment.

    – No deal would have immediate but much less serious consequences for the EU. On average, EU member states do about 8 percent of their trade with Britain, compared with Britain’s 44 percent with the EU.

    – no deal would lead to the imposition of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, putting into doubt the survival of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998,

    – the EU would lose one of its largest member states in circumstances that would almost guarantee poor bilateral relations for the foreseeable future.

    It is unclear whether this would undermine Britain’s commitment to the defense of Europe, or for that matter the U.S.

    commitment to the defense of Europe, as the loss of the United Kingdom would remove the most pro-American voice in the EU.”

    This is what Democracies are left to deal with when ( as Realist states above) half baked solutions are marketed to the populace.

    with No appropriate Education, Educating and Informing ( making transparent, accurate, Not biased information available to the voters) .

    The dilemma that the voters are faced with are how to make an informed decision on who to vote for if the games played by detractors on all sides of politics are turning off the citizens from having to face the challenges and the headwinds that are coming straight at us !

    Day by day , we discover that those in power are betraying the weak and vulnerable and are busy feathering their nests.
    A parliamentary seat has become a way to guarantee you a comfortable retirement!!!

    If you consider that we have reached a turning point in the evolution of our political system that is so crucial to the way we can evolve or it will be the slow painful decline into chaos and civil upheaval.

    It is up to the Voter. Take responsibility for you only deserve the government you’ve got.

    • yngso says:

      Rule Britannia, and damn the qonsequences? It’s blindingly clear that the consequences of hardBrex would be very dire, but too many people don’t want to hear that very clear message. The price for keeping dark skinned people out is too steep. You can’t undo almost half a century. GB is an island only in the geographic sense, but it’s a part of this world and can’t escape. IOW you have to deal with the hand you’re dealt.

    • GuiriCateto says:

      The voter he already choose, take many years to get so becaus of nest linering political hackneys descend from traitoring Heath, like twist man Tilford who working for bomber Bliar. They all hiding in Brussels fartng for selves. Only ways to bring them to accounting is to leave EU, EU is corrupt social faschist nazo dream. I say sorries for my spelling but is on purpose because you too stupid to understand nothin better.

  17. yngso says:

    Norway negotiated BEFORE the referendum. The debate wasn’t more intelligent, and the people wasn’t better informed, but there wasn’t the hair-on-fire shock and awe state of mind and affairs the Brits have descended into.
    One of the proudest, most arrogant peoples with a superiority complex ever on the face of this Earth, are now pooing systematically on themselves and painfully discovering that they’re just another country, Rule Britannia gone forever.
    The message is very loud and clear to the Bible thumping colonial cousins across the AtlantPond, that pride cometh before a fall, but they’re not listening, immersed in their hopium-fuelled Trumphoria.

    • Bankers says:

      No, Norway had a referendum before adhering to EEC in 1972, and decided not to. The UK had a referendum only after accession in 1975, a post truth affair based partly on economic adjustment. Funnily the younger age group of the time that are now the older one for Brexit, were then for EEC by a similar margin. Either way the possible adhesion of Ireland, Denmark and Norway at the time was dependent on the UK accession.

      • Bankers says:

        Norway completed its negotiations for the terms to govern a Norwegian membership in the EEC on 22 January 1972. Following an overwhelming parliamentary majority in favour of joining the EEC in early 1972, the government decided to put the question to a popular referendum, scheduled for September 24 and 25.[11] The result was that 53.5% voted against membership and 46.5% for it.[10] The Norwegian Labour Party government led by Trygve Bratteli resigned over the outcome of the referendum, and a coalition government led by Lars Korvald took over. (Wiki)

        You are confusing a referendum on accession with referendums to leave EU, the two are very different, especially considering the British public were not consulted before accession. In Norway your government was also pro-accession in 1972, got it wrong and had to resign. So no matter whatever disdain you might hold, to many British this is a deep-seated conflict that aims to rectify past error and political injustice.

  18. Realist says:

    Interesting times indeed nowadays. I’m too young to remember the downfall of the French and British Empires, but now I’m seeing yet another spasm of the fallen British Empire in the inept way Westminster is handling the Brexit process.

    I saw the full collapse of the Soviet Empire and I am apparently seeing a phase of the decline of the US Empire. As I see it, I don’t blame The Donald. In fact I regard it to be without any importance who the person is that is occupying the White House, because the big trends of society decides the direction the USA is going. If The Donald hadn’t been there, someone else would have been running instead of him, buoyed by the same historical forces that did lift The Donald into the WH. As such, the USA exhibits a lot of traits similar to mid 3rd century or 5th century Rome.

    Btw, I wish the Brits good luck with the future US trade talks, they’ll need it.

    • Bob Rock says:

      Brits will manage trade talks with USA, China, Japan, Russia… etc the same way they have negotiated (and not approved!) a deal with the EU. Arguably, they need all the luck the can get in the Solar System… and beyond.

  19. ML says:

    Brexit will happen. We voted leave for a host of reasons and not only reasons that the remain camp would have you believe. Indeed, arguably how remainers are behaving towards leave is yet another reason to add to the number.

    Both Conservative and Labour included a referendum in their manifestos to deter their voters from voting for UKIP. Neither C nor L would for one moment have expected a leave result but having given the UK an opportunity to express its opinion of the EU both C and L are now stuck with the dilemma even though the will strikes at the heart of C and L.

    Mrs May voted remain but because she is an honourable person she is respecting the will of the people rather than following het heart. In an attempt to appease the remainers, she has come up with a deal that is essentially a compromise. We Brits are prone to compromise. Adverse impact on cultural conditioning is why we are
    more adept at saying what we don’t want than what we do. But we shall get there in the end.

    As for the EU, an example xperiment in socialism which has used the influx of refugees to accelerate EU agenda to rid member states if their national identities, the EU cannot afford to be generous toward the UK lest other member states decide to leave as well. So seen to be tough yet not altogether heartless. The only reason in my view that the EU is tired of Brexit is that the EU is tired.

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