The Eagles hit song Hotel California has a great line in it that sums up Brexit: “You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.”
Brexit day – March 29 – has come and gone and we still haven’t left and we still have no idea when or if we will.
Our parliament is trapped in a virtual Groundhog Day as the bitter political squabbling between MPs goes on and the deadlock continues.
As I predicted last month, MPs voted against no-deal, but the only way to make that a reality is turn it into a positive vote for a deal. Their failure to agree means the risk of crashing out is still very real.
For farmers and food businesses, the continuing uncertainty is their worst nightmare, as it is impossible to plan ahead.
UK farm leaders are so frustrated with the deadlock they took the unprecedented step, ahead of parliament voting on Wednesday to write to every MP warning of the devastating impact a no-deal would have on British farming. They demanded MPs unite around a Brexit deal or if that failed they called on the UK Government to ask for an Article 50 extension.
As night follows day, once again parliament failed to agree, however, they did find a majority to force Theresa May to ask Brussels for an extension.
Backed into a corner, the prime minister is trying a last-ditch attempt to negotiate a compromise deal with Labour, but the prospects are pretty slim.
Perhaps if the PM had begun the Brexit process by bringing all the political parties together to try to agree a common position on how to leave the EU without damaging the UK economy we might not be in this embarrassing mess today.
Of course, parliament can demand an extension to Article 50, but it is the EU who will have the final say on whether there is an extension and how long it lasts.
In Brussels last week, people could barely comprehend the UK’s descent into political chaos.
Our long-standing reputation as a sensible, pragmatic, trustworthy country able to take difficult decisions and deliver them has been shredded.
They look on with incredulity at the political infighting and disbelief at the ignorance many of our politicians exhibit of how the EU and trade relationships work.
As one of my European friends jokingly said to me, the UK is beginning to make Greece look like a well-run country. As a result, the mood which up until recently had been one of sorrow and sympathy has hardened.
European leaders, as the PM found in March, will now dictate the timescale of any extension to Article 50, as they think Mrs May is incapable of delivering any deal in the short term.
With EU elections in May and a new European Commission unlikely to be sworn in before the end of 2019, EU leaders are going to insist on a long extension of up to a year with the possibility to end it sooner if the UK can actually agree on something.
In my view, the only way the impasse can now be broken is through a general election.
*George Lyon is a former Liberal Democrat MEP. He is a senior consultant for Hume Brophy and sits on the board of levy body organisation AHDB.