So where do we go to from here? After hints of imminent deals and suggestions that seemingly insurmountable differences were close to being bridged, talks aimed at restoring power-sharing collapsed on Wednesday of last week.
So near and yet so far - the St Valentine’s Day talks massacre was objectively progress, as Sinn Féin and the DUP reached a deal between themselves, while republicans revealed they are genuinely set on returning to Stormont.
The current internecine divisions in the British cabinet and the Conservative party centre on trade and economics; customs union or not, single market or not? Unsurprisingly no one in the Conservative party mentions human rights or indeed any kind of rights.