EDITORIAL: A Framework For....

As is frequently the case with haggling over the future of Northern Ireland different parties can see starkly different the same thing.

The Windsor Framework can be seen as a significant breakthrough, a roadmap for the future, a political fudge, a betrayal.

It's take your pick time again but hopefully, in this instance, all parties will take more or less the same conclusions to their respective corners.

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For those that see the framework as a viable path to the future this is a hopeful time.

Here's what Border Communities Against Brexit, in a statement, have said: "BCAB’s objective from the inception of our campaign in 2016, was to ensure No Hard Border on the Island of Ireland, and give primacy to the Good Friday Agreement.

"This Deal on the Protocol protects and enhances the All Island Economy and protects the 40 Million vehicles, with families, workers, and goods, that criss cross the Border annually, as part of their normal life.

"The Dual market access of this deal is also crucial; it gives us access to a market of 500 million people in the EU, and unfettered access to the U.K. market."

And there was this from the Northern Ireland Business Brexit Working Group, a body representing business entities in the North: "As a collaboration of 14 industry bodies, we commend the considerable efforts made by the EU and the UK Government to find joint solutions on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

"From the outset our priority has been to secure an agreed, durable outcome that protects our consumers and enables our businesses to thrive. Reaching an agreement is an important step in securing the stability and certainty businesses have been seeking. While we do not doubt that many issues will have been resolved, others may remain and/or arise in future, so we would encourage the UK and EU to continue with a constructive, solutions-focussed approach as businesses adjust to the new arrangements.

"It is our shared aspiration that this agreement will deliver a unique platform that unlocks economic growth and investment, but we will now need time and space to work through the technical detail with our members."

Now you think that the Border Communities Against Brexit view of the framework would be catnip to all the political parties who, presumably, want to see economic prosperity and progress in the days ahead, this despite the economic ball and chain that is Brexit.

Well, the DUP is, surprise surprise, playing cat and mouse with the odor of prosperity.

That said, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson reacted to the framework's emergence by stating that his party will take its time to “consider very carefully” the words in the framework.

Not all the DUP's leading figures are in the mood for careful consideration. 

Ian Paisley Jr. came out quickly from the blocks stating that the Windsor Framework “does not cut the mustard."

Imagine, the future of Northern Ireland, its polity and economy, dependent on a culinary metaphor.

But at least Paisley Jr. resisted one of his party's favorite words - a plain "no."

What me might witness in the days ahead is a phenomenon that followed the reaching of earlier agreements in the North - that being the quest for "clarification."

This can be used as a delaying tactic but, ultimately, a tactic that is far better for all and sundry than outright rejection.