John Downing: Irish farmers should pray May can get deal over line
Draft Brexit deal is a good outcome for our industry - but UK PM will struggle to pilot it through parliament
This time three years ago most of us had never heard the term 'Brexit'.
Now we use that ugly little word like we draw oxygen, giving us another indicator of what is at stake for this country generally, and in particular for Irish farming and agribusiness.
And you can add a further list of nasty jargon phrases which din our ears on a regular basis. For one of the latest, try 'managed no-deal Brexit' - to which we will shortly return.
After the weekend's speed-of-light endorsement by an EU leaders' summit of the UK draft Brexit deal, all eyes are now firmly focused on Westminster, whose 650 MPs must endorse it by majority vote.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has, at kindest estimate, a very slim chance of piloting this deal through her parliament, but she has embarked on an impressive no-holds-barred effort.
Things will build over the coming weeks, with the fateful vote pencilled in for tomorrow fortnight, December 12.
Mrs May is due back in Brussels the very next day for a scheduled EU leaders' summit.
In summary, Mrs May's abysmal figures look like this: she needs 320 MPs to be sure of winning, though she might fluke a cliff-hanger with a slightly smaller line-up, depending on the vagaries of Westminster life.