So what do you expect to be doing this Friday night?

My plans, for what it’s worth, will feature some combination of Italian food, Spanish wine and Belgian chocolate. Possibly with a croissant for supper, if I have any room left.

And hopefully, if enough of said Spanish wine is consumed, when the clock strikes eleven, I won’t be caring too much that the UK is no longer part of the European Union.

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You may guess, from those slightly petulant pro-European Friday night plans, that I’m not entirely convinced that leaving the EU is a wonderful thing.

But just as I’ve never had much time for the bombastic forecasts of sunlit post-Brexit uplands and “no downsides, only considerable upsides”, nor have I ever been convinced that overturning the result of the referendum was either realistic or desirable.

So our bed has been made, and now we must lie in it. But when Saturday morning comes, I’ll probably get out of my bed, try not to think too much about politics, and attempt to make the best of the day, just as all of us always do.

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All the while, though, I’ll wonder vaguely how long it will be before leaving the EU has a measurable impact on my day-to-day life.

And I’ll wonder, too, about the way we as a society have changed, and how we have been led to this point.

Too many people now appear to believe, consciously or otherwise, that the things that make us different to those around us are more important than the things we share.

The pernicious power of social media means more and more of us now live in an echo chamber, our beliefs reinforced by those who think the same way we do, making us angrier and angrier at those who hold a different view.

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We blame Them for all society's ills, rather than looking at Us, wondering what we have done to reach this place, and thinking about what we might have done, and might yet do, to make things different.

Humans have always been sociable but tribal creatures, of course: Facebook, Twitter et al have just made it easier for us to seek out those who share our world view, and to give amplification to those with the loudest voices. And it would be a very boring world indeed if we all thought the same way.

There may be outward noises from our leaders about friendship, but as the divisions between us – as individuals and nations – grow increasingly deep, I’m finding it ever more difficult to see a way in which people of different beliefs, religions, races, ethnicities and nationalities might actually learn to get on with each other in future.

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As far as Brexit is concerned, I’ve never believed the EU is perfect. But I do think the ideals that lay behind its establishment – co-operation in a common cause, in a bid to learn from, and never repeat, the dreadful consequences of past divisions – were admirable enough to try and hold on to.

I’ve long since accepted that that argument didn’t win the day in 2016. But I do fear that the country in which I’ve lived all my life will be a slightly sadder place as a result of its decision to sever those ties.

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