It has been fascinating to watch the arch-Brexiters’ big promises disappearing like snow off a dyke since the lamentable 2016 vote.

As the years have rolled on, the enormous disadvantages of leaving the European Union have been there for all to see but the supposed benefits touted by those who brought us Brexit have remained entirely conspicuous by their absence.

Given the degree to which the most dismal form of British nationalism fuelled Brexit, you would imagine that the latest forced climbdown this week for the Conservative Government, as reality once again overtook their ineptitude, must have been a humiliation for many Leavers.

The Department for Business & Trade announced on Tuesday that recognition of the Conformité Européene (CE) safety mark in Great Britain would be extended indefinitely for most goods beyond the most recent December 2024 deadline.

Previously, it had been the intention of this Conservative Government that recognition of the CE mark in Great Britain for these goods would come to an end by the end of 2022 and that only the post-Brexit UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) certification would be accepted after that.

The list of goods for which recognition of the CE mark has now been extended indefinitely is extensive.

The Department for Business & Trade said on Tuesday: “The Government intends to extend recognition of the CE marking for placing most goods on the market in Great Britain, indefinitely, beyond December 2024. These updates apply to the 18 regulations that fall under the Department for Business & Trade.

“These are toys, pyrotechnics, recreational craft and personal watercraft, simple pressure vessels, electromagnetic compatibility, non-automatic weighing instruments, measuring instruments, measuring container bottles, lifts, equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX), radio equipment, pressure equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), gas appliances, machinery, equipment for use outdoors, aerosols, low voltage electrical equipment.”

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So yes, all in all, quite a lot of goods, thankfully.

Previously, the UK Government was hammering home the “need” for the use of the UKCA marking for those who manufactured or handled products in that long list of areas.

It really is quite the climbdown.

And the retreat has come in the face of serious concerns among businesses about the clock ticking on the tried, tested, trusted and straightforward CE mark.

For the avoidance of doubt, there was absolutely no need for the UK Government to even think about ending recognition of the CE mark, at least not for any rational reason as opposed to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the Brexit brigade.

The Department for Business & Trade characterised the key points in its climbdown over the CE mark as follows in a press release on Tuesday: “Business department announces indefinite CE mark recognition beyond 2024 deadline. As part of the Government’s drive for smarter regulation, the extension will cut business costs and time required to place products on the market and benefit consumers. Follows extensive engagement with industry, delivering on a key ask from businesses to ease burdens and boost growth for the UK economy.”

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Surely it would not be churlish to note that there would have been no problem at all on business costs and time had the UK Government just stuck with the CE mark all along. Far better still, of course, it could have allowed the country to stay in the EU or at least the European single market, retaining all of the enormous benefits which have now been lost.

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What we have had this week from the UK Government is the bizarre dressing up of its solution to a problem of its own making on the CE front as an absolute benefit, rather than mitigation of damage.

The Department for Business & Trade declared: “The Business Secretary acted urgently on this issue, to prevent a cliff-edge moment in December 2024 when UKCA was set for entry. This intervention will ensure businesses no longer face uncertainty over the regulations and can cut back on unnecessary costs, freeing them up to focus on innovation and growth.”

What Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch has actually done is act to address a problem of the UK Government’s own making, one that formed part of its ideological hard Brexit.

And we had the following from business minister Kevin Hollinrake on Tuesday: “The Government is tackling red tape, cutting burdens for business, and creating certainty for firms – we have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver.

“By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy.”

With its hard Brexit, the Conservative Government has created huge burdens for business, with the loss of frictionless trade with the country’s largest export market and the fuelling of skills and labour shortages at a very difficult time with the ending of free movement of people between the UK and European Economic Area.

The Tories most definitely added to red tape in this vein, and they did not listen to business over Brexit, a folly which has been a great hindrance to firms as they have attempted to create jobs and help drive economic growth.

And businesses have faced great uncertainty over the CE mark, with it only becoming clear this week that the lobbying for a modicum of common sense from the Tories on this front was going to succeed.

Such uncertainty is something that businesses of all sizes, across sectors, surely do not need right now given the dismal state of the UK economy. Things are difficult enough, without the UK Government seemingly erecting as many hurdles as it can, often on ideological grounds.

We seem to hear an awful lot in the Scottish goldfish bowl about uncertainty created for businesses operating north of the Border by some policymaking at Holyrood.

Clearly, there were major issues for companies in certain sectors with the now-postponed Scottish deposit return scheme, the structure of which is being reconsidered. At other times, noise about problems in the relationship between Scottish Government and business has more to do with run-of-the-mill lobbying not entirely succeeding or the piercing squeaking of opposition politicians.

The UK Government seems to get away far more with creating huge problems for business and most of the time not even listening or acting when genuine concerns are flagged.

At least with the CE mark, it has responded to the major and very legitimate concerns of businesses.

However, this climbdown at the same time shows Brexit for what it was, is and will continue to be: a load of British nationalist bluster about something which is incredibly damaging to the economy and harmful to the prospects of households and businesses.

And surely the “get Brexit done” box of tricks used by Nigel Farage, Dominic Cummings, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak et al is something that would not have got anywhere near obtaining a Conformité Européene safety mark.