Last week the EU told Britain that ‘friends with benefits’ wasn’t an option.
We can have a “hard Brexit or no Brexit at all”, European Council president Donald Tusk declared, in the manner of a scorned partner insisting on an end to all contact.
It’s no wonder that Europe wants to make an example out of us; we ‘made our bed’, we ‘can’t have our cake and eat it too’, and all other such clichés apply.
If we were allowed to have the best of both worlds, it would be only a matter of time before other EU member states queued up at the exit.
There was some talk of a backtrack on the referendum decision, but any hope Remainers had of a possible reversal was blown out of the water by Theresa May when she announced Article 50 would be triggered in March next year.
The value of the pound took a severe hit this week too, prompting Mark Carney to warn that inflation would rise on products such as food.
But while we’re all in limbo waiting for things to settle down, life goes on. While it’s obvious that brokers should advise as best they can based on economic forecasts and client circumstances, it’s unrealistic to expect any adviser to have access to a crystal ball if the Government does not.
While there may be a sense of unease in the air, it seems that the post-referendum lull has eased somewhat as figures released last week showed signs of recovery. The latest study from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported that buyer demand had increased for the first time in seven months, with confidence seemingly returning to the market.
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders also signalled recovery in the market, with the amount of mortgage borrowing up 14 per cent in the month to August and up 11 per cent annually.
First-time buyer borrowing figures from the CML were even more encouraging, showing the volume of home loans taken out in that sector up 24 per cent year-on-year.
And in what may be considered the most positive news of all, Tesco and Unilever have resolved their price war – so Marmite will be back on the shelves. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.