AS the Bells chimed on the 31st, a Brexit trade deal that had barged its way through Westminster with some jingoistic bluster and very little else on Wednesday had already been formalised and the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union officially signed off.

The UK Government was all but waving flags as Prime Minister Boris Johnson crowed about having “taken back control of our money, our borders, our laws and our waters,” and having his cake and eating it, before being accused of meting out nothing more than a “con” over Scottish fishing, one of the central pillars of the debate, by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

The Brexiters' promises of future prosperity confidently delivered but lacking any substance are reminiscent of outgoing US President Donald Trump’s approach to politics. Of course not much detail was dug into after only little more than four hours of debate midweek, so presumably this will become more apparent through the work of the planned transition-steering “partnership council” and its 20 or so committees, where negotiations now begin, again. The price to pay is also an unknown.

Business Editor Ian McConnell pulled no punches in his Called to Account column this week over what is being passed off as fact, dissecting the PM’s declaration that the Conservative Government had “resolved a question that has bedevilled our politics for decades”.

“This is nonsense,” he wrote. “What the Johnson Government has in fact done is ensure households and businesses are bedevilled in coming years and decades by the very damaging effects of the Brexit folly. Mr Johnson’s intensely irritating claim, while utter rubbish, seems typical of the blinkered view of so many Tory arch-Brexiters, who see things only from their own perspective.”

The “raw anger” among some in Scottish commerce amid Covid restriction tensions between the business community and the Scottish Government became evident this week.

The varying degrees of coronavirus fall-out on businesses should be supported at a proportionate level, argue sectors such as hospitality which has called for extraordinary funding as it nears a year of closures.

Business voices have for the most part been restrained against the backdrop of the deadly virus and always emphasise the importance of people and health first, but some feel their input is not being valued.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said he thinks Holyrood “has a challenge in that a lot of the business community are concerned the Scottish Government doesn’t trust the business community,” adding: “That attitude is reaching a level of being reciprocated.” He said that “there is a raw anger at times with the way business perspectives are dismissed in the debate in Scotland”.

A ray of hope is on the horizon along with the vaccines for the hospitality industry as signs of tourist life returning at some stage include San Francisco hotel and serviced apartment provider Sonder Hotels’ ambitions to expand in Scotland, revealed Deputy Business Editor Scott Wright.

With one property in the Scottish capital already, the 30-unit Royal Garden Apartments in the New Town, the company has “big plans to expand on its entry into the Scottish market and has secured a deal for its first property in Glasgow, with further sites in Edinburgh to follow”.