There was increasing impatience in the European Union (EU) with the UK and its negotiations on leaving, even before talks got underway on 19 June, which can be summed up by a quote from an EU ambassador in London who told The Guardian on 13 June: "You (the UK) don't even know what you want any more, let alone how to get it."
One can understand this diplomat's point when, frequently, senior figures from both of the main parties can be heard to declare different priorities of what they want Britain to achieve after leaving the EU.
'Staying in the single market'; 'tariff-free trade'; 'a free trade agreement with the EU' – none of which can be had (we all know) without the strings attached, especially that one about the free movement of people and not forgetting multi-billion pound fees to the EU kitty. It all goes to beg a question!
That's the big stuff, but even when there is broad agreement on an issue as there has been in the first week's talks on the protection of the rights of each party's respective citizens after Brexit, the devil remains in the detail.
Under a proposal made by the UK, EU nationals who have been currently living in the UK for five years continuously, will be able to apply for permanent "settled status". They and their dependants will not be asked to leave and will get the same healthcare and other benefits that apply to British citizens, including pension accruals and entitlements.
It's not perfect, and it's not all that they get at present. Many articles in the media have highlighted disadvantages, such as issues with regards to dependants after Brexit or an EU national with "settled status" leaving the UK for more than two years.
Although these assertions may indeed be correct, assuming the UK does leave the EU, it is a better deal than is available to other aliens and to remedy all of them would once again beg that same question I hinted at earlier.
Who the devil could arbitrate fairly over such issues for both sides who are broadly in agreement on future citizen's rights and, anyway, are unlikely to want the differences to be so great as to stall proceedings for long?
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the highest court in the European Union (EU) with regards to the interpretation of EU law and was established in 1952. It is based in Luxembourg and since 2015 has been presided over by Belgian Professor of European Law, Koen Lenaerts.
Deciding just what role and jurisdiction the ECJ should have after the UK leaves the EU has the potential of being a bone of contention in the now ongoing discussions between the two parties. Britain, and particularly the Conservatives, doesn't much like the ECJ.
The talks are currently headed by the EU's chief negotiator, French Republican politician Michel Barnier, until November 2014 European Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services; and on the UK side by the right-wing Conservative MP David Davis, a former Minister of State for Europe (1994 -1997).
Britain and Davis, will argue that after Brexit, the ECJ will cease to play any role in the UK and any legislation passed will be guarantee enough for the EU citizens who choose to remain in the UK. Michel Barnier on the other hand argues that the ECJ will be the protector of (all) EU citizens and the 27 other countries in the EU are likely to side with him.
On 26 June, Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy (KGM) interviewed Portuguese Socialist Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Ana Gomes, who said that much as she welcomed Prime Minister May's public offer to EU nationals living in Britain, it was just the "beginning of negotiation... just a beginning..." and she saw the rights of EU citizens (and citizens of the UK in the EU) as a top priority, saying: "We do not accept any degradation of rights."
KGM: "...there is a degradation of rights on what's currently on the table..."
Gomes: "No degradation...(of) the enforcement system of those rights."
KGM: "You mean the European Court of Justice... That is a key red line issue for you, is it?"
KGM: "Forget the European Court, we'll have some in-between system."
Gomes: "(No) European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights."
There are indications that some deal can be done to sort this type of impasse with representatives from both sides but it does highlight probable complexities – this after all is meant to be the easy bit on which there is general agreement. The clock is ticking we are oft reminded, and could be ticking until we're old and gray!