His whisky makes up a fraction of the £1,392 million worth shipped to Europe each year.

But for Antony McCallum, his own blend, House of McCallum, is everything.

Yesterday afternoon Mr McCallum had 10 pallets of bottles ready to ship to France, his big market, for his Christmas push.

“This time of year accounts for about 70 per cent of our sales,” he said, then lamented: “The hauliers are not sure if they will be able to ship or not. They don’t know if the trucks will go.

“I have been in business for 25 years but I have never known uncertainty like this. Normally, you can plan; you can’t plan when you don’t know what is going on.”

  • READ MORE: EU agree to Brexit extension as October 31st deadline looks set to be missed

And he is worried, like so many others. Bigger businesses, Mr McCallum admitted, have been squeezing him out.

They are finding it easier to bulk import the extra supplies of vital components, like the bottles, corks and caps, that they need. Business groups describe a real toll on the confidence of smaller entrepreneurs.

Mike Cherry, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, this week warned his members had “been left hamstrung by uncertainty for the past three years”.

One of the big worries for businesses is whether they can get labour, including seasonal workers, from the EU.

But the four million or so citizens of other European nations living in the UK have reason to be stressed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon symbolically again told them they were welcome in Scotland. But Brexit has delivered a different message – one that has added to the stress.

Those in favour of Brexit insisted we were supposed to take back control. Instead, for people like Mr McCallum and so many others, there is just an overwhelming sense that even before any deadline runs out, we have lost it.

The United Kingdom yesterday lurched into yet another Brexit extension, the date of which is still to be decided, into yet another period of aching political, economic and constitutional uncertainty.

For some this was just the prolonged death rattle of the British Union state, a last agony. For others, it was more like a difficult and protracted delivery for a new sovereignty outside the European Union, a rebirth. But forget the destination.

It is the pain of the journey that is hurting, the mental pain. Why? Because people are telling us they can’t control what is happening. And because they simply don’t know what is happening.

There is more: all of this angst and anxiety, this discord and dispute, this stress and strain, looks set to last right through the holiday season. As the nights turn darker quicker and the cold seeps in, there is talk of a December General Election, of politics over the turkey and trimmings.

The wry jokes have started as coping mechanisms click in. Merry Brexmas, say some, and a happy No EU year? As is so often the case when we don’t feel right in ourselves, it is our friends who notice. And not just the bad gags. First, foreign observers have used the language of mental health to describe the Brexit process itself.

“Britain had gone mad,” said the New York Times in the summer. “The cult of Brexit has driven the Tory party to go mad,” said Internazionale in Italy. Aghast commentary does nothing to calm British nerves.

Neither, say mental health experts, do headlines that stigmatise illness. Some outside are really starting to worry about us.

Take Brian Hughes, of the National University of Ireland in Galway.

“While we may in Ireland laugh at the UK, it is very stressful for the people in the UK,” the psychologist told the Irish Times.

“It has real consequences for people’s wellbeing and mental health. There are multiple major concerns you would have for a nation like the UK and its population.”

Anti-depressant prescriptions shot up 13 per cent in the month after the big Brexit vote. They are supposed to go down in the summer months.

We are less than a week from the latest Brexit deadline. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would “die in a ditch” rather than stay in the EU beyond Halloween.

And yet it looks like October 31 will pass and we will still be in the world’s biggest and most successful trading bloc.

Back in March, days out from a previous deadline, the Mental Health Foundation issued research showing Brexit had made 45% of people in Scotland feel powerless.

Another 44% were angry, another 43% worried. Nearly one in five of us are highly stressed, according to the poll. Toni Giugliano, the foundation’s policy manager, said: “Feelings of powerlessness or worry are linked to a higher risk of mental health problems. They may also exacerbate existing difficulties.

“We know, from other examples worldwide, that an unstable political environment can potentially affect people’s mental health.

“The number of people who said they felt high levels of stress or problems sleeping is also a concern.”

Mr Giugliano was speaking in March. Six months on he added that little had changed, but underlined the stress was not being dispersed equally. Some of us are more affected than others: EU migrants or people in businesses that trade with the EU, or for projects that get funding from the EU.

German-born Professor Tanja Bueltmann, of Northumbria University, studies migration and also campaigns for citizens’ rights.

She said: “For EU citizens, Brexit is not a threat of something that might happen in the future: it has been their everyday life for over 1,200 days, no end in sight. There is a real human cost to living in limbo for such an extended period, with growing tangible evidence documenting the impact of this uncertainty.

“In particular, the mental health of EU citizens is affected, impacts ranging from anxiety to depression and panic attacks.

“Especially worrying, however, is the growing number of accounts that reveal EU citizens holding suicidal thoughts. This is the result too of many EU citizens finding themselves in a real crisis of identity and belonging. This was bound to happen: how are they meant to come to terms with the fact the place they consider their home chose to implement a system that forces them to apply to stay [rather than an automatic system as was promised]?

“Whatever happens next, the impact Brexit has had on EU citizens has already been significant and is likely to have longer-term negative consequences for their mental health and wellbeing.”

In Europe there are also British citizens who were bracing themselves again for the prospect of a no-deal Brexit as soon as next week.

This summer a study found three out of four British parliamentarians were suffering from poor mental health; stress and depression. One of its authors, Dan Poulter, a Tory MP who still works as an NHS psychiatrist, stressed the work was lonely.

Speaking in July, he added: “MPs are potentially at greater risk of developing mental health problems because of the nature of their work and because they work in a high-stress environment where there are many brickbats and not many bouquets.”

Brexit has not made things easier. An MP was murdered by an extremist during the EU campaign. Crowds of often aggressive campaigners have gathered outside Parliament.

Abuse on social media is rife. A huge poll this week found a majority of voters think violence towards MPs is a price worth paying to get the Brexit outcome they want.

Even the research team behind the survey, at Edinburgh and Cardiff universities, said they found the findings “genuinely shocking”.

Hannah Bardell is one of the MPs who have spoken frankly about looking after themselves as Brexit eats into their ability to do normal politics.

She said: “That job, which I love and which I signed up for – and for all the stress that comes with it – has had quite a profound impact on my mental health.” 

An MP since 2015, Ms Bardell catalogued the stresses being forced on politicians.

“The dysfunctional system at Westminster; the relentless wall-to-wall nonsense of Brexit; not being able to do our job the way we should be because Brexit is taking up so much energy. All of that is having an impact on people and parliamentarians of all parties.”

So far studies have focused on adults but the pain is rubbing off on their children. The Mental Health Foundation has advice: don’t bottle it up. “Have an honest discussion with them, be truthful, give them facts, and allow plenty of time for questions,” it says. “Remember that small doses of real time news are helpful, but overexposure is not.”