A post Covid report and the Northern Ireland Protocol were the two main topics in the news today. In the former, a report by MPs concluded that the UK's failure to do more to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic was one of the country's worst public health failures. The government approach - backed by its scientists - was to try to manage the situation and in effect achieve herd immunity by infection, it said. This led to a delay in introducing the first lock-down, costing thousands of lives. However, the report highlighted successes too, including the vaccination roll-out. It described the approach to vaccination - from the research and development through to the roll-out of the jabs - as "one of the most effective initiatives in UK history". Not surprisingly, organisations like the BBC sought scalps and in particular the Prime Minister's. Their attempts failed as this pandemic was unprecedented, a much used word, but true. Of course, not everything went to plan and every death is deeply regrettable, but hindsight is a wonderful tool to use when criticising another's failures. Captain Hindsight (Sir Kier) springs to mind! Meanwhile, Brexit Minister, the capable Lord Frost, proposed plans for an entirely new protocol to replace the existing Northern Ireland Protocol. In a speech to diplomats in Portugal, he described his new legal text as "a better way forward". The protocol is the special Brexit deal agreed for Northern Ireland to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland. Unionists argue it undermines Northern Ireland's constitutional position in the UK and creates a trade barrier. In a plea to the European Union to allow for "significant change" to post-Brexit rules governing trade with Northern Ireland, Lord Frost said his proposed text would support the Good Friday Agreement. This matter must be resolved and I wish Lord Frost well. I caught up with NFU President Minette Batters briefly on the phone, to follow up her virtual appearance at my quarterly farmers' meeting where she echoed our concerns. I have written to the minister, listing our main points and look forward to the reply.