@operafanuk UPDATE TO VPN ISSUE.
After further testing and resets in cooperation with provider, I have gleaned information they may (or may not) have a software issue with 'guard settings' at network level (above provider level).
NOTE: This is not a broadband issue as disabling VPN allows the browser to operate, albeit without VPN.
Further enquiries confirmed this started around two days prior to my original post in this thread. My provider, and others, started receiving many calls, and acted!
A few of my above posts indicate VPN has been intermittent in nature.
THE REASON: The network has been working hard to isolate the problem.
So, for Opera users in the UK [with Opera VPN never-ending connection problem] having a landline/broadband account with "SafeGuard" feature (or similar), should disable everything but "Virus Guard", close the browser. NO NEED to alter Opera sett's.
You should find Opera VPN [blue] is active as intended next time you open the browser - hopefully. They continue to investigate and confirm similar reports from Win7, Win10 and Mac users.
Hope this helps.