Blink, and you might have missed one of the most important political stories in the last few days.
The Belgian Prime Minister reported to the EU that the country cannot sign up to CETA, the trade deal between the EU and Canada that has been more than seven years in the making, because the region of Wallonia objected to it. I could bore you with the reasons behind their objections, but the practicalities are less important here than the consequences of it.
Many Brexiteers have sought to crow over the failure, citing it as vindication of their long held belief that the UK is simply better off outside the EU, freed from the shackles of Brussels bureaucracy that ensnares trade deals and slows economic progress.
Now don't get me wrong, it is highly embarrassing for the EU that a trade deal that they have been working on for seven years is about to be brought down by a region with a population of just 3.6 million people. And yes, it adds some credence to the argument that expediting trade deals is impossible within the confines of the EU. It strengthens the claim that the UK may well be able to do a trade deal with Canada with more haste, albeit one that doesn't offer access to a market of 550 million people.
But those arguments miss the point.
Brexiteers have long argued, and indeed continue to argue, that the priority for the UK is to complete a trade deal with the EU after triggering Article 50, and then move onto doing further deals with nations, such as Canada over the following years.
But this is the crux.
You cannot do the latter, without first doing the former. Even the most ardent Brexiteer would find it difficult to argue that a trade deal with our single biggest export market was our priority. And doing that deal means negotiating with the tangled EU bureaucracy they so revile. The nature of the deal the UK requires means it will likely require ratification with all 27 member states. That, in turn, means it will need to be approved by, among a laundry list of other bodies, the Wallonian region. And did I mention we have two years to complete this process, not the seven that it took Canada?
So if you're tempted to point and laugh at how incompetent the EU are when it comes to negotiating trade deals; don't. The next one they have to negotiate is with us.