IT is entirely understandable that our European neighbours are reluctant to have lorries entering their territory from the UK.

If a super-infectious mutation had been discovered in France, we would be shutting our Channel borders.

Indeed, the North-East would probably like to create barriers around it to prevent all those people fleeing London from potentially bringing the virus up here – although according to Durham’s council leaders, it may well be too late.

The nation is now at its most vulnerable for decades, and yet we seem to be hurtling headlong into a no-deal Brexit which even the Government fears will create more cross-Channel pandemonium and knock even more percentage points off our ailing economy.

If we can’t get a deal, why do we want to inflict these wounds on ourselves? Why isn’t our Government concentrating wholly on the virus instead of having only one eye on our biggest economic move for generations?

It is four-and-a-half years since the referendum; can’t we wait another six months until the virus has eased a little and our negotiators have found a way to reach a deal that both sides want.

We have all postponed Christmas; if a no-deal is the only option, shouldn’t we postpone Brexit, too?