11/09/2018 18:40 BST | Updated 12/09/2018 09:45 BST

People Think This Picture Captures The Mood Of Brexit Britain Perfectly

Why the long faces?

It was meant to be the day when Brexiteers mapped out their vision for a brave, buccaneering future outside the European Union.

Instead, it is likely to be best remembered for this photograph, taken by Dan Kitwood of Getty Images, that many believed captured the mood of the nation facing a messy divorce.

Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

A plan produced by the Economists for Free Trade group – which was endorsed by leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg at a meeting attended by other Brexit luminaries such as Boris Johnson and Peter Bone – argued ‘no deal’ Brexit was unquestionably A Good Thing.

They posited that adopting World Trade Organisation rules, the default setting once slipping free from Brussels, was the “very best” option and that there was “no evidence that EU membership had boosted UK economic growth”.

Bit between his teeth, Rees-Mogg claimed these circumstances would boost the UK economy by £1.1 trillion over 15 years.

So why the long faces? 

Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
Bloomberg via Getty Images

To be fair, who amongst us has not wished we could be somewhere – anywhere – as a colleague really drills deep into some hard data.

This could be what the glazed eyes speak to.

In any case, economist Jonathan Portes dismissed the claims of a ‘Brexit dividend’ as “entirely false” and “obviously absurd”.

He told HuffPost UK: “If we leave the EU, the EU is perfectly within its rights (and indeed is largely legally obliged) to impose the same checks at and behind borders, including customs and safety, that it currently does for non-EU members like the US.

“The idea that this will not result in costs and delays – which is what their modelling assumes – is garbage.”

With Theresa May’s Chequers plan floundering amid a Tory rebellion, and Jaguar Land Rover warning on Tuesday of huge job losses as a result of the ‘wrong’ Brexit, many on social media appeared of the mind that the picture summed up our times.