You know the curse, “May you live in interesting times.”
It’s actually not a Chinese curse, its origin is likely British.
Which is ironic for the British business who have been repeatedly reassured that Brexit will not make any difference in how they do business.
It has been clear from day 1 that the pro-Brexit crowd would not go for a Brexit-In-Name-Only, where the regulatory landscape would still conform almost completely to EU standards.
The Tories, and their pro-Brexit allies have always said that this was about sovereignty, and now the Chancellor has confirmed that there will be no formal synchronization of EU and UK regulations and standards.
Businesses, particularly the City of London, are freaking out:
Sajid Javid, the UK chancellor, has delivered a tough message to business leaders to end their campaign for Britain to stay in lock-step with Brussels rules after Brexit, telling them they have already had three years to prepare for a new trading relationship.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Javid quashed any prospect of the Treasury lending its support to big manufacturing sectors — which include cars, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and food and drink — that favour alignment with EU regulations.
“There will not be alignment, we will not be a ruletaker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union — and we will do this by the end of the year,” Mr Javid said, urging companies to “adjust” to the new reality.
But with Brexit now less than a fortnight away, business leaders are eyeing the upcoming trade talks with Brussels with trepidation.
The EU wants the UK to stay in line with its regulations in return for a zero tariffs, zero quotas trade deal but Boris Johnson, prime minister, has repeatedly said he wants to break free from the bloc’s rules.
Philip Hammond, the previous chancellor, fought to maintain alignment with the EU but Mr Javid made it clear that the Treasury was now under new management. He suggested being comfortable with some companies suffering from Brexit.
The complaint here is that Boris Johnson and his Evil Minions™ did exactly what he promised.
No sympathy from me.