Well, the Brexit deal seems to be done. There'll no doubt be much to finesse and round-off in the weeks ahead, but the principle of severance from the EU would look as though it has been achieved.
For those who supported the very concept of Brexit, its fundamental implications and the desire to allow Britain to once again be in charge of its affairs, this will all sound like good news after a heart rending negotiation that, at times, looked impossible to fulfill. For those that opposed severance from the EU there will no doubt be some dismay and even bitterness that the final cutting of that political and economic umbilical has now been achieved. So let us draw a distinction in these often fraught, polar views about how Britain should continue its evolution in the decades to come. The EU started its life as an economic initiative with trade being central to its purpose. In the course of time the union developed a political mind to move toward a federalist agglomeration of European states. Security and being a mid-world powerhouse of business, finance and innovation were lofty aspirations that appealed to many - including Britain - at a time when the communist bloc was thrashing through its death throes and the emerging influences of a bruised Russia, a totalitarian China, a rogue nuclear North Korea and an opportunist enthusiasm for the Islamist vision all started to enter our consciousness.
There were moments when the EU ideal looked to be the better option to be within in the face of this disparate but dangerous clique of global saboteurs. Yet regulation of the then 28 member states meant ever increasing control, interference and blockage of sovereign states individual outlooks. The economic and political disparity between those newer members in the east and those in the west loomed large and we became a club of those that paid in little but received a lot versus those that paid in a lot and received little - all in the name of European solidarity. But the raw truth of it is that European solidarity is a myth, a leviathan political institution that jaw-jaws in its lavish parliament but actually does nothing to establish a cohesive and multilateral sense of equality and security throughout its membership. It has crowed about the preservation of peace in Northern Ireland, but has actually done nothing at all to assist in bringing that about; it failed to intervene in the implosion of Yugoslavia and watched with glassy, sightless eyes as genocide and war crimes were committed on European soil; it failed to mediate and act as an arbitrator in the Catalan dispute with Spain and again watched a brutal put-down of a genuine regional desire to have a greater say in its local governance; it watched Russia invade the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and did nothing; it watched the ever growing problem of illegal migrants entering southern Europe and contributing to the destruction of economies in Greece and southern Italy (in conjunction with impossible Eurozone demands) and again stood by, passive and unresponsive. And so the list goes on and on.
This all says nothing about how the Continental members of the EU bent and skewed the rules to favour their own industry, trade and business interests - all counter to both the spirit and law of the EU - whilst dear old Britain played its cricket by the rules - and suffered mightily for such naivete.
The arguments can continue endlessly in both directions, but Britain has now defined its position to act in friendly but open ways with not just the remaining EU bloc but with other free trade partners around the world. That those agreements have been secured quickly beyond the impossibly legalistic EU rule book is testimony to the very reason why Britain has sought and achieved its independence. We are an island race of free-traders on a global scale and we do not subscribe to the slow and restrictive ways of a political bloc that puts its political interests before its economic and social well-being - and therefore the well-being of its many citizens. We are infinitely better off as a nation state outside of this organisation - still friendly and collaborative with it but - importantly - independent of it.