POST Brexit was always going to be challenging, but then a pandemic made it doubly so.
But life is all about being tested at times.
The trick is to deal with it objectively and emerge stronger, as we shall.
Certainly, the country has been shaken in recent weeks, with dry forecourts, the end of furlough and soaring gas bills.
For a few, predictable commentators, it’s all the fault of Brexit.
Well, it’s not.
One issue laid bare is our over-reliance on cheap labour from the EU, which has allowed governments to maintain a low cost, low wage economy.
Now, we find ourselves bereft of skills, training and investment in our work force, a short-sightedness that’s now come back to bite us.
The lack of road haulage drivers is a case in point.
There’s a chronic shortage across Europe, yet here, the job is especially onerous, with expensive training, excessive testing and lack of decent roadside facilities.
Better investment in pay and conditions could change the picture completely, along with improved education and skills training, and a carefully targeted – not uncontrolled - immigration policy.
However, with over a million job vacancies, it’s time for optimism.
The whole point of Brexit was to make us more self-reliant, productive and prosperous.
This wake-up call only underlines the necessity to revitalise some of our oldest and most critical industries, like defence, shipbuilding and power generation.
We have everything to play for.
Despite the pandemic, we are the fifth largest economy in the world and the fastest growing in the G7.
To borrow the Prime Minister’s metaphor, this country is like a giant, stirring after a long sleep.
It’s time to wake and shake up.