Time to get out the photo album and weep, or to get down the gym and get back to our dating weight? Whatever you choose, there are a few inescapable facts that we would do well to remember as we hopefully move toward a trade agreement that is as free as possible without us losing control over our laws or on deciding who can come to the UK for work, and to claim benefits.
Adland is in an unusual position of providing the UK with a surplus, and will be lining up alongside financial services to lobby and then pray that there is a free trade deal on services, perhaps in return for another key EU export such as German cars and French produce. Before all this started, I predicted there were two or three outcomes. A free trade deal where we pay more than our current membership to the EU to remain tariff-free yet completely independent of the EU, a complete break where we either accept WTO or negotiated tariffs or a hybrid where we pay to be into a free trade zone but still have accepted some free movement of people for work, but not for benefits.
If the latter turns out to be true, the EU will be kicking itself for not agreeing to what is effectively what the former UK PM, David Cameron, had suggested all along would help him win backing for Remain.
The real surprise in the phony war period between the vote and then triggering Article 50 has been Scotland. The never-ending political stirring from Nicola Sturgeon has been shocking. For the uninitiated, the leader of the Scottish National Party -- which is in power in Edinburgh -- wants another referendum on independence, just two years after losing the last one.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said it's a possibility, but let's see how talks with the EU go -- so if there is a vote, the Scots will know what the UK's relationship with the EU is going to look like. Sturgeon can't accept this very sensible advice and has already won a Scottish Parliament vote for a second independence referendum.
The laughable situation is that Sturgeon is calling for a vote before Scots will know what they're voting to be a part of and with a very strong assertion that an independent Scotland will be a part of the EU. This would have to be agreed upon by all member states, and Spain has already been very clear that it is opposed to the idea for fear that its own separatists could seek a similar fate and split up Spain. So what do you reckon is better -- a vote when you know what your choices are or one designed just to stick the knife into a political adversary in London?
If a Scot goes all "blue face" and Mel Gibson on you, do have the courtesy to point out that Scotland's biggest trading partner is the rest of the UK, so would an independent country want to risk being in a trade agreement that doesn't include its biggest trading partner? That could be the outcome -- the point is that nobody knows just now. And as a final piece of inconvenient common sense, the rest of the world is a bigger trading partner for Scotland than the EU. Just saying.
As for the rest of it, social media will hopefully quiet down and trendy left Remoaners will finally accept that the Government had no choice other than to listen to the will of the people. From what I have noticed, they will now move on to blaming Brexit for everything while they ignore that the pound has been at its current levels before the referendum was even on the table. Also, people get sick in the winter and cause an NHS backlog, regardless of the EU, and the terrible inflation they are all moaning about could hit 2% soon.
Wow! For us non-Millennials, that would have been a dream target twenty years ago. Anyone else remember double-digit inflation, the pound falling through the floor and mortgage rates hitting 15%? Weren't we a firmly committed member of the EU then?
If you do remember those days, you wouldn't be moaning about the country currently employing more people than it ever has and exports being on the up thanks to our overvalued currency finding a more realistic resting place. If the cliff we're going to fall off by firing Article 50 is low unemployment, 2% inflation and virtually interest-free borrowing, than I think most of us would be happy to lap up these awful times.
What will happen is anyone's guess. The crucial point that you won't see raised in social media by the Remoaners is that it's not solely up to the UK. It's up to the consensus of the EU member states. We're a party of one -- there are 27 seats on their side of the table. How they want to deal with the first exiter is really up to them, not us.
Like the vast majority of London-based adland people, I didn't vote for this, but part of being a grown up is accepting reality and dealing with it. Today the UK has taken a long shot. We could have stayed where we were, but the people decided to take a gamble on a better future by shaking things up. Everyone's reaction now will depend on their openness to risk. It will also depend on whether they see business as static or able to mould to fit new opportunities.
I'm now firmly in the positive thinking camp. The alternative is denying democracy and having no faith in the UK to adapt to new trading agreements.