Belfast Telegraph

Let's hope the joy flowing from good news at Wrightbus is followed by a Brexit decision that is right for all of us in NI

Wrightbus workers celebrate as news breaks that a deal was reached 'in principle' for Wrightbus sale
Wrightbus workers celebrate as news breaks that a deal was reached 'in principle' for Wrightbus sale

Editor's Viewpoint

The news that Wrightbus has been saved not only brought joy to the ears of the Ballymena bus builders and their families, but to the wider community who had followed this saga intently.

The fact it came just a week after Harland and Wolff got a similar reprieve and in the week that the Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly gave a stark warning about the pressures facing the NHS delivered a stark reminder of the pressures on our economy and budgets.

And of course, the news that there might - just possibly - be a resolution to Brexit should give cause for quiet optimism.

One of the few points on which the local parties agree is that there will be no return to Stormont ahead of Brexit. By the same token, politicians at home and in Westminster are wearying of the delay in Brexit and its hold up on other policy initiatives.

We should welcome this chink of light if it allows us to get back to non-Brexit politics.

There is as yet scant detail about what the way forward on Brexit might entail, and there is always the possibility that Mr Johnson and Mr Varadkar's recollections of what was agreed may differ.

However, certain positives have emerged, not least that it would appear - despite what his critics may have asserted - that the Prime Minister does indeed want a deal and is trying to avoid crashing out on October 31.

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And a deal is the best possible outcome for Northern Ireland.

It's a peculiarity of this country that you demand people move their position and when they do so, you then criticise them for it.

The most recent to suffer such a fate is the DUP, who did move on a red line. To their credit, they appear to have listened to the concerns of business and the farming community, for whom the repercussions of a no-deal Brexit would be dire.

It appears that Mr Varadkar also had a good meeting on Thursday and came in the spirit of wanting to do a deal. There should be every reasonable expectation that he, too, has moved his position.

Yesterday, there was the sound of silence, which given the toxicity of recent political engagement, was perhaps no bad thing. Let's hope that our politicians are given the space they need to reach the decision that is right for all of us.

Belfast Telegraph


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