I’m in London for the weekend, largely for a chance to see if my French passport works. So far so good. It’s cold. I take the pulse of the nation during the 45 minute minicab run from Heathrow. The driver this time had a rich background. Born in Pakistan, some time in Canada and a dozen years living in Aberdeen working on the oil rigs. Half his family has returned to Lahore and he is wondering if it’s time he abandoned the UK and did the same. There’s more and easier money in Pakistan, he said. And he likes to grow mangoes and oranges in his garden.
I was talking to someone who gives advice to civil servants on aspects of Brexit. He says that they’re usually very, very bright and he finds it chastening to enter a meeting with 15 people and realise that he is probably the dimmest person in the room. They spend weeks carefully crafting papers that lay out the various options and their consequences. These are then bounced up to the politicians to take the decision, which is often made in a few minutes without any real understanding of what is involved.

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