Relief, then, seems to be the main takeaway from the yuletide agreement between the EU and UK, hopefully preventing chaos on January 1 for business, trade and the economy.
It is not to everyone’s liking. Compromise rarely is. There is a reason people have had to get round the table.
No doubt some will feel aggrieved. It is how we got here in the first place.
Captains of industry, politicians, hauliers and education bosses have all expressed their relief a deal has been brokered. Exacting details on what the deal will bring can be mulled over Christmas turkey. Chaos, for the most part, has been put back in the bottle.
But make no mistake, the relief felt over the Christmas eve announcement is the same experienced when a loved one passes — there will be time to deal with the grief, guilt, maybe even anger, but at least the suffering of limbo has been taken out the equation.
Time for mourning at what could have been, or celebration for what can be, must be halted, or at least muted.
With the distraction of potential economic destruction brought about by trade dispute momentarily paused, the prime minister and each leader of the four nations that make up the only Union we are currently members of need to prioritise one thing — pandemic recovery.
We need the world’s best roll-out of the vaccine, the world’s best support packages for businesses currently crippled and the world’s best safeguards for our nation’s most vulnerable — not to mention the world’s best conditions for our NHS staff, frontline carers and key workers as they shepherd us through this crisis.
Anything less is a dereliction. After the last five years, our country deserves nothing but the undivided attention of its leaders in battling back from this disease.
It is neither the time for gunboat fallacy or shrinking into wallflower decoration. People are dying and will continue to die unless full focus is put on stopping the coronavirus and nothing but, from all our governments.