Do we have time on our side? It seems the time for negotiating the terms and conditions is always being extended. They have been extended again and the main sticking points are access to the single market and fishing.
There is a great deal of optimism provided there is compromise. However, that sense of optimism and compromise changes according to who you are listening to. If you listen to the UK side, it is the EU who must compromise and vice versa. The UK reminds citizens that deals have been struck with other countries. The main one they give us an example is Canada. However, there are major differences. Canada has never been part of the EU. The UK was in it for 45 years and they do not like seeing such a major partner leave.
Canada is much further away. It is a smaller economy than the UK and is not thought of as a serious competitor. The UK by supporting its own businesses is viewed as a threat and it is this that the EU negotiators are chiefly worried about.
Although the UK was instrumental in creating the EU after the 2nd world war, Winston Churchill never imagined the UK being part of it. Why would he? The purpose if it was to make the original six nations cooperate with one another. They had gone to war twice. EU or the Common Market as it was called then was to prevent a third war and the UK did not see herself as the perpetrator of the wars but as a sort of international police force stepping in to restore law and order and in the case of the second war, honouring a treaty with Poland.
The EU has mushroomed into an empire that its creators would have been astonished at. We await to see what the final agreement is if indeed there is one. We have to be out at the end of the year. The clock is ticking.