ANYONE with an interest in the living standards and welfare of people in the UK must beware of two strands of narrative emerging from the Conservatives on the Brexit front.

One is from the Brexiters in the Tory camp. This one goes along the lines that somehow everything would have been okay if we had just headed surely towards an extreme exit from the European Union in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote in June 2016.

This narrative would have you believe that people who have expressed fears over Brexit and urged continuation of membership of the European single market and free movement of citizens have somehow spoiled the party. That, by taking the stance they have, these voices of moderation have somehow prevented vast Brexit riches pouring down on a deserving (and entitled) mighty Blighty.

We are far down the rabbit hole on Brexit. And there is no sign that the fantastical views of the Brexiters, which are much, much more bizarre than Alice’s Wonderland, are going to change any time soon.

It has been a hectic few weeks on the Brexit front. Political and economic uncertainty and instability have intensified. And, given where we were before, we must recognise that this is no mean feat.

Among the drama, we have had the resignation of Boris Johnson from the post of foreign secretary, after he took umbrage at Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers plan on how to proceed over Brexit.

This plan, which appeared to go some way towards trying to mitigate the economic damage from leaving the EU but nowhere near far enough, was described as “miserable” by Mr Johnson, seemingly because it did not offer a sufficiently radical exit. It is bizarre to think that a move to limit damage might irk a foreign secretary.

However, Mr Johnson and his fellow Brexiters still appear determined to paint a picture that there are only upsides from Brexit, and frequently give the impression they want a no-holds-barred exit, regardless of the ramifications. The upsides remain as elusive as ever, but that is not giving them any pause for thought. Their confidence still seems to be based on no more than a very outdated, and probably never real, view of the UK’s place in the world.

We even had Mr Johnson declare that it is “not too late to save Brexit”.

You could be forgiven for thinking some politicians who favour Brexit, rather than admitting the economic damage already done by the Leave vote and the much-greater future effects even if there is a sensible deal with the EU, are ensuring they have their scapegoats in a row.

With economic damage inevitable, what better in terms of Brexiter face-saving than to point at those some childishly refer to as “Remoaners” and say it was only their lack of faith in mighty Blighty which prevented some kind of prosperity miracle?

The other strand of narrative on Brexit, which appears to be coming from both sides of the deeply divided Conservative camp and may even be a rare point of unity within it, is that a no-deal scenario will somehow be the fault of Brussels, for being inflexible. How utterly bizarre. It took the UK about two years to tell Brussels what it wanted. And then the even-deeper Conservative split this month has meant that Brussels, and everyone else, cannot really be sure now what is wanted in any case, and not for the first time.

Dominic Raab, who became Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union after David Davis resigned, has been at pains to point the finger at Brussels in recent days. What he has said has indicated no discernible valid reason for so doing.

There is no doubt the dangers of a no-deal Brexit have increased very considerably but this appears to have nothing to do with Brussels.

Rather, it seems to have everything to do with the attitude of the Conservative Government, which is packed with Brexiters. It always seems these Brexiters must be pandered to, regardless of economic realities, to prevent deeper division.

So what are the economic realities?

The pound tumbled in the wake of the Brexit vote as financial markets, rightly, reassessed the UK’s economic prospects (downwards, not upwards). Sterling’s weakness sent the cost of imports surging, fuelling inflation and leading to a renewed real-terms fall in pay for people in the UK.

Huge uncertainty over Brexit has weighed heavily on business investment, a fact flagged by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. It has also spooked consumers.

UK economic growth, already choked by longstanding Conservative austerity, has slowed still further to truly miserable rates. And all of this before intensification of the chatter over a no-deal scenario in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the empty rhetoric continues.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt this week conceded a no-deal exit would be “challenging”. No kidding. But he quickly went on to say the UK would “thrive” regardless. How will it? It is not going to thrive just because the Tories say it will (which has been the problem all along). In the same way as the UK’s economic troubles cannot with any justification be blamed on the voices of reason, empty rhetoric about how it will all be fine is not going to trump reality.

Everywhere you look, the Brexit alarm bells continue to ring.

Budget airline Ryanair this week warned of hard Brexit dangers.

The Confederation of British Industry’s latest industrial trends survey on Tuesday showed a sharp fall in Scottish manufacturers’ confidence about export prospects and the general business situation. Manufacturers also plan large cuts in investment over the next 12 months.

Catherine McGuinness, who chairs the City of London Corporation’s policy and resources committee, told the Exiting the European Union Committee at Parliament that Brexit could lead to up to 12,000 job losses in the short term. Ms McGuinness, who touched on the no-deal possibility, added that “many more jobs” could go in the longer term. She noted more operations would be moved elsewhere in a no-deal scenario.

Given the scale of the dangers, people must not be taken in by the Tories’ latest strands of narrative. This is a problem entirely of the Conservatives' own making.

Mr Johnson is focusing on the wrong thing as the clock ticks. He and his Tory colleagues, and others in Parliament, should be focusing on how to save the UK population at large, Remain and Leave voters alike, by abandoning this Brexit folly, while there is still time.