The road to Brexit looks long and bumpy as politicians on both sides of the Channel have had an ill-tempered spat.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has accused her rivals in the European Union of trying to badmouth her reputation and manipulate General Election 2017.
Meanwhile, leading Eurocrats have leaked details of a grumpy dinner in which they and May failed to see eye to eye over how the talks should start.
March 2019, when Britain decouples from Europe, seems a long way off.
Of course, May is right. The EU would far prefer the Great Appeaser Jeremy Corbyn to win the election.
No golden goodbye for EU
He has already laid out his masterplan for Europe, which includes remaining in the single market and keeping freedom of movement for British and EU nationals.
Given the choice, no wonder the EU would want him sitting on the opposite side of the Brexit table.
And that 100 billion bill to go? May’s right hand Brexit man David Davis has already scoffed at the idea of paying anywhere near as much to get out of Europe.
Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, refuses to talk trade until Britain agrees expat rights, border controls and that ‘incontestable’ 100-billion euro golden goodbye.
“The UK must put a great deal of energy and effort into these three issues over the next weeks and months and that will increase the chances of making a deal,” he said.
Who keeps the cat?
“Some have created the illusion that Brexit will have no material impact on our lives and that it will be painless. This is not the case. We need sound solutions, we need legal precision and this will take time.
But both sides seem farther apart than the 22 miles of the English Channel.
“We are not supplicants. This is a negotiation. They lay down what they want and we lay down what we want,” said Davis.
“We will not be paying 100 billion euros. We will pay what is legally due according to existing rights and obligations.”
Rather than friends with much in common sitting down to sort out their differences, Brexit seems to be more of an angry exchange between a couple squabbling over who keeps the cat.