The flickers of hope are being turned off, one by one

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I was speaking in Brussels yesterday and referred, in error, to the ‘UK’s member states’. I did, of course, mean to refer to the EU’s member states.

Then I had to laugh and make clear that I was not suggesting that the UK might shatter soon, although the possibility had to be recognised.

No one in the room - from a wide variety of member states - was surprised.

There appears to remain complete bafflement in Brussels on the whole Brexit process.

And I sense a resigned feeling of inevitability now, knowing that as time passes the likelihood that crashing out with no deal is by now by far the most likely outcome.

I now believe that to be true.

I have to admit that somewhere deep inside me the flickers of hope are turning off one by one. I am now beginning to think there is no one and nothing that can stop us from this madness. And that we will pay for it for decades.

I hope I am wrong. But I can no longer see how or why because nothing else is being agreed upon.

And nor can I see any upsides. Not for England and Wales, at least.