There is a short scene in the acclaimed British political satire The Thick Of It where the lead character of Malcolm Tucker, an acerbic government spin doctor, reacts to the anxious knocking at his office door during a particularly fractious meeting by uttering the immortal line, “Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off!”. At 11.00 o’clock tonight, after more than three years of torturous and seemingly insoluble negotiations, Britain will formally fuck the fuck off from the European Union. The optimists are hoping that the subsequent transition period and the decades following it will usher in a new era of mutually beneficial partnership between London and Brussels. The pessimists are weighing up forty years of anti-EU rhetoric and propaganda, of the toxic seeds sown by a generation of British politicians and journalists, lobbyists and campaigners, and have a suspicion that the worse is yet to come. When the United Kingdom discovers that the sunny uplands of Brexit are slightly more chilly than expected, it will be the EU that will be blamed; not those who promised unicorns and magical money-trees. And the anti-European sentiment will be passed onto another generation of UK nationals in a culture of forever-Brexit. The truth is, the Brits are leaving – and they are unlikely to ever come back.