Even the most ardent supporter of Brexit in Northern Ireland could not have discerned anything but storm clouds in the complex outworkings of the NI Protocol - never mind the sunlit uplands of Brexiteers' dreams.
In avoiding a harder border on the island of Ireland by keeping NI within the EU's single market, it effectively created a border in the Irish Sea.
The EU's priority was to preserve the integrity of its single market by installing checks that would ensure goods coming into NI from GB were not in fact "at risk" of travelling into the Republic.
Last month Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer indicated that the added expense and hassle of checks - to ensure that goods were not at risk of going into the Republic - could mean they'd have to reduce their ranges here.
That transported many of us back to unwelcome thoughts of the period up until the 1990s, when grocery shopping here was limited to Dunnes, Wellworths and Crazy Prices.
Beloved as they were, homegrown supermarkets couldn't match the choice and value offered by Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, or the relative luxuries of M&S's food range.
Back in November, food companies like ABF and Tate & Lyle, which supply basics like flour and sugar, also indicated that checks could mean they might struggle to supply customers in NI.
Panic was rising to the point where First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill wrote to European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic to say that it was unacceptable there were still uncertainties over how the protocol would operate, potentially affecting the supply of food.
Regardless of your political views on Brexit, the idea that it could result in a narrower choice of foods in Northern Ireland, or at the very least, higher (even crazy) prices, was the stuff of nightmares.
Thanks to the agreement in principle announced by Mr Sefcovic and Michael Gove, we may have avoided those nightmares, though we don't yet have all the detail.
Their accord may turn out to be even more important than a main free trade agreement in dictating how our daily lives continue to run at the end of the Brexit transition period in a mere 22 days time.
The masked-up pair of Gove and Sefcovic celebrated their accord in an exquisitely awkward photo op, standing a little too closely together for our era of social distancing.
Let's hope the next few days bring a similar picture opportunity for Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen.