BREXIT Smexit ... by the time you read this, we could very well have a deal of some sorts on the table. Or maybe not, given the tortuous route that we have endured thus far.

As we went to press on Wednesday evening, the only clarity was that, deal or no deal, things will have to change. Just how much they will alter, is up to what kind of mish-mash trading arrangements are finally agreed upon.

As usual with politicians, it's been a fairly broad brush – in similar scale to those used on the Titanic (other ships were available for this simile, but maybe not quite as appropriate!) – that has been used to slap the paint on the blueprint of potential agreements. It will be left to the Civil Service to sketch in the fine detail and we can only hope that there are a few budding Michaelangelos wearing pinstripes in Westminster, with a delicate artist's brush to fill in those technicalities on a grand plan which we can only hope will not resemble those of a CalMac ship in the making by Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow – ie all over the place and lacking in an engine room to make the damned thing work.

As in all works of art, we can only hope for a bit of laissez faire in artistic licence shown to the finer detail. We need just enough wiggle room to allow trading to carry on largely as before, though we'd be naive to expect everything to run smoothly.

We can fully expect the main ports in France to be a potential sticking point, both physically and mentally for UK goods going there, but expedited on the way out! Again, we must place some hope that any such behaviour would be met like for like by border officials on this side.

For farming, there has been a rush to equalise grain exports, for example, prior to January 1. Likewise, the lucrative trade in breeding livestock that the UK mainland has experienced from Irish buyers – both north and south – these past few months, will see sheep and cattle moved as quickly as the can be to meet the new 'export' rules being placed on the whole of Ireland, which is viewed as still being part of the EU.

As Jim Walker points out on this page, the majority of the trading arrangements between the UK and continental Europe have been forged over many generations. The good news is, that it's almost time for the politicians to exit stage left and leave the traders to sort things out.

The last thing we need, however, is a black market appearing in traded produce and goods because of a complete inability in the regulatory process to allow any movement. The simile is there as plain as day and that was the sieve that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic was in the 'bad old days'. We don't want to revisit that again ... do we?