IT’S been a strange week. Spennymoor is enjoying hotter weather than Spain, Germany are out of the World Cup and the Echo has managed to go a whole day without mentioning the word that begins with a B and ends with rexit. Ok, so only two of these things are true.

Britain’s doctors yesterday warned that leaving the EU would be “bad for Britain’s health” as they endorsed a public vote on the final Brexit deal. The prospect of yet another debate on Brexit is enough to make many people feel ill, but it shouldn’t. Brexit is THE polarising issue of the day with entrenched positions on both sides but we believe it would be a disaster if we stop talking and, even more importantly, listening to one another.

Judging by our government’s attempt at negotiations, it would be an optimistic person who held much hope for whatever Brexit deal ministers manage. Opponents to a second referendum argue that the best course of action is to shut up get on with it. “The people have spoken”,’has been a recurring message from leave voters, but if the people were poorly briefed should they not have the opportunity to change their minds? We must have no excuse after the risks that Brexit will bring to say we did not understand the full implications.

Echo readers are bright, well informed, and in most cases, open-minded people. Some strange things may been happening right now but expecting people of the North-East to stop thinking and debating the big issues of the day would be truly bizarre indeed.