It is hard to believe anyone voted in the 2016 EU referendum in the hope that the UK would end up in the situation it is now.
There are less than five weeks to go until we really do leave the EU on January 1. And yet no trade deal has been struck; a controversial withdrawal agreement from last year threatens to put a kind of customs border down the Irish Sea if we leave without a deal – and there has been no peace made between people on the different sides of the political debate.
The gap between Leave (52.5%) in Wales and Remain (47.5%) in that June 2016 vote was only small – and yet it has opened up a seemingly unbridgeable rift in our society that seems set to cause even more resentment if there is a rough ride after January 1.
So many promises were made in the run up to the June 2016 by one side; so many threats were made by the other. The last few years have exposed both sides as having been misguided.
Yet the tortuous posturing and megaphone arguments that have been laughably dubbed negotiations have also revealed a whole new set of problems; an entirely new set of questions that the UK faces as it ponders what kind of relationship it should have with the EU.
There has been no consultation with the public on the real questions we face now. That simple yes-or-no, in-or-out question has empowered a succession of Conservative ministers at Westminster to take generation-shaping decisions on our behalf, with catastrophic consequences for their careers when their rivals have managed to manipulate public opinion against them.
So please tell us how you feel now, what has shaped your thinking about Brexit, and what type of relationship with the EU you’d like to see.
On Sunday, Dominic Raab told the BBC it was likely the talks were entering the “last real major week”, and an agreement remained possible if the EU showed “pragmatism”.
He added that the talks now depended on resolving a “fairly narrow” set of issues, including fishing rights.
There are just under five weeks until the UK formally leaves the EU transition period on December 31 but given any deal needs to be ratified and agreed by EU leaders, the EU Parliament and the UK Parliament, there are really thought to be only a few days left in which a deal could be struck.
Face-to-face talks have been taking place in London with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, Mr Raab said: “We’re down to really two basic issues, but I think in particular the issue around fisheries.
“I do think this is a very significant week, the last real major week, subject to any further postponement of the goalposts in terms of the timing.”
He added that a deal was subject to the EU accepting the “point of principle” that the UK would require “control” over its fishing grounds after the transition.
“If the EU understand that point of principle and we have some pragmatism, we can get there,” he said.
“We ought to be able on both sides to resolve fisheries, if you take the context of the wider economic gains and potential downsides of not having a further deal.”