A BIT like “fake news”, Donald Trump’s term of choice to describe the viewpoint of anyone who disagrees with him, the phrase “project fear” has gradually permeated the Brexit debate.

Sometimes it is used quite legitimately to describe the more hysterical suggestions as to the consequences of leaving the EU. But sometimes, as with Mr Trump, it is used simply to dismiss an argument which proves inconvenient.

Today we report warnings about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on the farming and education sectors, and no doubt, by featuring these stories we will be accused of being part of so-called project fear.

There is a very important distinction though, between those who raise concerns about the whole idea of Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit.

The two are very different debates, and it is entirely correct for experts in their respective fields to speak out.

Less than two weeks before MPs are due to vote on Theresa May’s deal, what could be more important than discussing the negative effect on UK food producers, or the risk to revolutionary cancer treatments?

These must not be dismissed as the views of those who want to stop Brexit, but respected as part of a fully-rounded discussion. Even before the latest concerns were raised, it was clear the North-East would be particularly hard-hit by a no-deal Brexit. Our politicians must listen, and as they go back to work after the Christmas break, must do all they can to make sure there is a deal in place on March 29.