Happy Christmas

I have never been so grateful to reach the end of term. 

Those who want a second referendum need to understand what that would mean. It would mean the better part of 2019 locked in bitter, rancorous dispute before a divisive further vote. That vote may give the second-goers what they want and overturn, just, the outcome of the 2016 ballot but equally it may not. Let’s just get on with Brexit, with all its risks and opportunities, and make the best of it. Who knows? Perhaps those now actively trying to overturn the referendum may, with gritted teeth, come to appreciate the better, more prosperous, independent  Britain the 57% of local voters had in mind when they voted to leave in June 2016, a vision shared by the many who tell me they voted to remain but would now vote to leave.

I look forward to the Withdrawal Agreement, modified or caveated to make it crystal clear the UK won’t be tied into the backstop, being agreed and to the UK entering the transition phase in March. I also look forward to MPs being able then to refocus on all the normal things we focus on - healthcare, schools, infrastructure, defence and so on. That would be really good. 

If I can end with a plea to nobody in particular. The ‘stupid woman’ debacle epitomises how nasty our political discourse has become. We can debate the causes, but very few engaged in public life at any level are actually stupid, venal or avaricious (there are exceptions to every rule). Perhaps those who purport to offer leadership in politics should cool it in 2019. Maybe then the public who understandably take their cue on what’s acceptable from rude, shouty, boorish political figures who cavort like pantomime dames through the media will too. 

Have a very happy Christmas and can I wish everyone, whether you’re a leaver or remainer or somewhere inbetween, a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Best wishes,