IMAGINE walking into an ice cream parlour on a scorching summer day – a few years ago, I would have said this would be a rare occurrence in Scotland, but the climate crisis unfortunately begs to differ – enticed by the myriad flavours and the promise of a sweet, refreshing treat.

The cheerful server is insistent – this ice cream will be the best you will ever taste. That is a promise. It will simply blow your mind. And it is the cheapest ice cream parlour in town too! What a deal.

Excitedly, you choose a scoop of their finest flavour, take a lick … and it tastes rank. The ice cream lacks creaminess, the flavours are dull and artificial and, now you think about it, you are not sure about the hygiene standards of the premises. It is just a total disappointment.

You can’t help but wonder why the ice cream falls so short of its promised deliciousness. Then it dawns on you – the server failed to mention that they skimped on quality ingredients and rushed through the preparation process.

What you bought was an ice cream with failure churned into every scoop. It was never going to taste good.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson referred to police AGAIN over fresh Covid claims

Does that ring a bell? Does Brexit feel something like this overrated, disappointing ice cream?

Brexit, too, was marketed as a tempting delight, a recipe for success. However, it was made with flawed ingredients, false arguments and deception. It is no surprise that it turned out to be a disappointing concoction that leaves a bitter taste in our mouths, failing to deliver the promised flavours of prosperity.

The recent admission by Nigel Farage, a prominent figure in the Brexit movement, that “Brexit has failed” made me wonder – has it really failed? I don’t think that’s the case. I think Brexit has unfolded precisely as it was intended to. From the outset, the repercussions of Brexit were anticipated to be significant, and it has, unfortunately, lived up to those predictions.

You can’t assign blame to something that was inherently flawed from the start for not achieving success. Instead, why not blame those who were responsible for misrepresenting the potential outcomes and misleading voters?

Of course, nobody expects Farage, being one of the architects of Brexit, to do that.

There is mounting evidence pointing to the damage caused to the British economy. Yet even in light of everything we see and know now – the higher prices, the staff shortages – some Brexiters still attempt to shift the blame onto external factors.

Experts were practically shouting from the rooftops about the potential downsides but their words were often brushed off as nothing more than Project Fear. Sadly, many of their predictions have turned out to be true. They warned voters about the economy taking a hit.

The Office for Budget Responsibility now forecasts a whopping 4% blow to the UK economy in the long run compared to if the country had stayed in the EU.

Back in December, a report from the Centre for European Reform (CER) revealed some grim figures about the costs of Brexit for the UK. According to its findings, Brexit has inflicted a massive £33 billion loss in trade, investment, and overall economic growth. The CER’s estimation of the tax shortfall resulting from Brexit also paints a depressing picture, placing it at around £40bn.

Brexit also means that people are spending more of their hard-earned cash just to put food on the table. A study conducted by the Centre for Economic Performance in December revealed that leaving the EU has resulted in an additional burden on households, amounting to more than £5.8bn in higher supermarket bills.

READ MORE: How much Douglas Ross was paid for referee work this season

As a direct consequence, food prices have surged by 6%, placing added strain on the budgets of ordinary citizens.

Remember when experts said we could face staff shortages in vital sectors? Well, surprise, surprise – that happened as well. Brexit has caused a shortage of 330,000 workers in the UK, mostly in so-called low-skilled jobs, according to a report by the (CER) and UK in a Changing Europe.

The post-Brexit points-based immigration system has made it harder for “unskilled” workers to come to the UK. Sectors such as transport, retail, hospitality, manufacturing and construction have all been hit. It turns out the jobs that were being “stolen” by EU immigrants were the jobs that British people weren’t taking in the first place …

I really struggle to see how this hard Brexit – which has erected substantial barriers with the UK’s closest neighbours – could have aligned with Britain’s best interests and made it prosper.

But most people do seem to see the reality of Brexit. According to a YouGov poll released in March, a majority of 53% of voters expressed their belief that the UK made a mistake by leaving the European Union, while 32% still stood by the decision as the right call.

This is not an “I told you so” column. As an EU citizen residing in the UK, witnessing the damaging repercussions of Brexit on the country brings me no pleasure whatsoever. I, too, am directly experiencing the struggles that have emerged as a result.

What initially drew me to Scotland – the opportunity to study abroad without paying extortionate tuition fees through the Erasmus programme and the freedom of movement – has now been taken away, and it breaks my heart.

It feels horrible to witness the dismantling of something that brought such enrichment and openness to people’s lives. This entire affair feels like a colossal waste of time, energy, and resources.

And it is not as if the 2016 referendum had settled the question once and for all. Brexit continues to linger, affecting lives, dividing people. It is making it harder for multinational families to stay together. There are moments when I wish I could simply erase it from existence and pretend it never happened – but it is impossible.

READ MORE: Scottish Tory MPs vote to include Scotland in UK anti-strike laws

It is exasperating to witness those who championed Brexit now acting surprised by its consequences. Farage popping up like an unwelcome hair on a bowl of soup, trying to evade responsibility and accountability makes my blood boil.

Seriously, Nigel? It’s like Nadine Dorries realising in 2018 that Brexit meant the UK would have “no voice, no votes, no MEPs, no commissioner.” Like, come on! Brexit means Brexit, right? That’s precisely what you and your campaign fought for!

We can’t just brush off the negative outcomes and pretend they were never part of the package people were sold.

If you listen to Brexiters, you’d think they are mere bystanders and not the ones who are actually at the helm, with the power to “make Brexit work”. It is almost comical how they try to distance themselves from the very thing they fervently believed in and play the blame game.

The truth is, they all share the burden of the consequences of Brexit. It is time for them to stop the finger-pointing, face the reality and own up to the consequences. But maybe this is too much to ask.