It is difficult to absorb, in this Covid-19-distorted time warp, that the people of the United Kingdom voted five years ago that they would take their country out of the European Union (EU).
Most of the time since Brexit has been devoted to agonising negotiations between London and the rest of Europe about how to sever more than three decades of deeply intertwined financial, social and even judicial relationships.
The Covid pandemic, say analysts, has masked the negative effects of the divorce from the EU – and things are only going to get worse for the UK.
British trade with the EU collapsed in January, when Brexit’s full effects came into force, while the divisions caused by the Brexit vote have, if anything, deepened.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s grandiose dreams of a “Global Britain” are a work in progress and smack faintly of a yearning for the global presence once conferred by the Empire.
Indeed, that longing for the past – when Britain was supposedly sovereign – was a major driver of the “leave” vote.
Sadly, the world is no longer the place it was when the Union Jack flew over large swatches of it.
And Brexit is a denial of the reality of globalism.