Zeno, a Greek philosopher who lived in Cyprus around 300BC, liked to explain his concept of free will by comparing it to a puppy tied to the back of a cart. The puppy was the individual, the cart the wider forces which shape our world. As long as the puppy moves in the same direction as the cart it will have the freedom to move from side to side, pick up food and stay fit and healthy. If, however, it decides to move in a different direction to the cart, or not move at all, the cart will break its neck.

The lesson, Zeno told his followers, is that no one is mighty or important enough to ignore the influence of the wider forces around them.

Zeno’s dog came to mind last week when I read reports that Jeremy Hunt, during his frenetic tour of EU capitals, confirmed that the Government will consider accepting EU environmental and social legislation in order to secure a free trade agreement.

You can read the full i article here.