After nearly three years of debate, division and rancour, today was meant to be the day when the talking stopped and Britain finally left the European Union after 45 years of membership.
But, as we all know, it has not turned out like that. Because, as some predicted back in 2016, Brexit has turned out to be the political and legal equivalent of separating conjoined twins – and twins that have been conjoined for near-on half a century.
With today’s latest defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, by a larger than expected margin of 58, we now face the very real prospect of leaving without a deal, or not leaving at all. Options that delight and appeal different people in equal measure, and outcomes that would tear British society asunder.
So where does the Government and the country go from here? Parliament is in total stalemate, with even all of the other Brexit options considered also rejected by MPs in indicative votes this week. So all the talk in Westminster is of a general election to break the logjam. But who will lead the Government in any election? Theresa May? Hardly. And what would the Conservatives manifesto position be in any event? The May deal that so many of them despise? Laughable.
There are lots of questions. There are no answers. And the biggest peacetime national crisis in any of our lifetimes rolls on.