Skip to main content

A deal is in "the interests of all"

A deal for Brexit is still on the cards. The British and Irish Prime Ministers meeting today say they can "see a pathway to a possible deal." As ever, the devil will be in the detail. 

The two sides also say that a deal "is in the interest of all." That is undoubtedly true. Crashing out of the EU without a deal would be harmful to all sides and profoundly damaging to the UK. This much we have said all along. An agreement is necessary. We must hope that there will now be a meaningful dialogue to achieve one, and an end to the gameplay.  

Finding a way forward that keeps the border with Ireland as open as needed for the Good Friday agreement and the peace process is essential. 

Any deal must be put back to voters. People talk a great deal about 'respecting' the referendum result. But that result was not about giving the UK government a blank cheque to make whatever kind of arrangement without proper scrutiny. A key element of democracy is accountability.  

We have yet to see the detail of any possible deal, but we should be happy that negotiations have resumed. 

Of course, many will be sceptical of Boris Johnson's real intent. But if there is a way forward, then that should be explored.

If Boris Johnson can come to a sensible and workable agreement with our EU partners, then that would be a significant step forward in beginning the process of healing the country. That can only be done if it is clear that such a deal has the approval of voters and parliament. Let's hope so.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

No evidence for vaccine link with autism

Public health bodies are worried that an alarming drop in childhood vaccinations is leading to a resurgence of diseases in childhood that we had all but eradicated.  Misinformation and scare stories about the harmful effects of vaccines abound on the internet and in social media.  Where they are based on 'science', it is highly selective, and often reliance is placed on falsehoods.  Conspiracy theories also abound - cover-ups, deception, lies. As a result, too many parents are shunning vaccinations for their children.  So, what does the published, peer-reviewed literature tell us about vaccincations? Are they safe and effective, or are there long term harmful effects?  A new report now provides some of the answers. New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV, and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism. Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (also known as chickenpox) are infectious diseases cau

Therapeutic animal stress

Interacting with animals is known to be therapeutic,  particularly in reducing stress.  But do we consider sufficiently the effects this may have on the animals involved?   We might assume that because it is calming for us, then it must be so for the therapeutic animals, but is this so?  New research suggests that it isn't always without stress for the animals involved.  Positive human-animal interaction relates to changes in physiological variables both in humans and other animals, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear, anxiety) and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain.  It also reduces the 'stress' hormone, cortisol. Indeed, these biological responses have measurable clinical benefits.  Oxytocin has long been implicated in maternal bonding, sexual behaviour and social affiliation behaviours and in promoting a sense of well-being .  So far, so good.  We humans often turn to animals for stress relief, companionship, and even therapy.  We kno