On the one hand, there would be £350 million a week to spend on health care, full control over all and everything, and a once-in-a-generation moment to shape the destiny of a country. On the other hand, there's the feeble reassurance that the country won't be plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction.
If you've guessed that the statements above relate to Brexit, you've kept up your Brit-watching over the last two years or so. Britain has decided to rid itself of the strangulations of the EU and march into a bright future. That's what the leave campaign promised, and that's what the first three statements above reflect. This was the mood of the leavers before the referendum.
The year and a half since the country voted to leave the EU haven't exactly gone to plan, assuming there was or is a plan. It doesn't much look like it. British politicians occasionally visit Brussels to figure out if there anything good for them for when they're not part of the club anymore, only to leave empty-handed. They've yet to visit with concrete ideas or suggestions to shape the process.
Consequently, it looks as if it's all going down the drain. There doesn't seem to be a week without revelations of what won't be wonderful in the future. There was the story about Britons needing new licenses to drive abroad because their EU licenses won't be accepted anymore. A nuisance for vacationers, for sure, but hell for hauliers. There's just a few hundred commercial permits to the EU for thousands of trucks.
Then there is the staff shortage at the NHS. It doesn't help that Europeans are leaving in large numbers as long as their post-Brexit migration status is unclear. Lastly, Kentucky Fried Chicken is temporarily closing hundreds of outlets because of supply problems. Ok, this last one wasn't related to Brexit, but you get the picture.
It is going to be a total disaster, which is probably why David Davis, the government minister in charge of the process, today tried to reassure an apprehensive country. Far from the lofty promises before the referendum, Brexit won't be like Mad Max was the best he could come up with. It's not the brightest prospect, but it's probably all the country can hope for.