This week saw the final judgement by the Supreme Court on the contentious issue of whether the decision that was taken directly by the country in the EU referendum last June must now be put to a separate vote of parliament to approve commencing exit negotiations. The Judges were divided but, on balance, decided that parliament needed another vote. It is a disappointing decision on one level because all sorts of democratic rights have been eroded by Brussels regulations and court judgements over the years and no one seemed to challenge these. However, we have to accept the decision of the court and, in practice, it is just a technical issue which makes no material difference.
Parliament has already held dozens of different debates on the issue of leaving the EU and the policies that will come after. It has been invigorating for our democracy to be able to discuss new policies again in the knowledge that soon we will regain the power to fully govern ourselves.
Last week, the Prime Minister set out her plan for Brexit in a landmark speech. As she said, we must now put the campaign behind us and unite the country. The PM made it clear that she wants us to put in place a close partnership with the EU based on friendship and cooperation, and that the UK must be a generous and outward looking country that is a good global citizen. But as we establish the rule of national law in this country, we must bring to an end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain.
Our future relationship with the EU will include co-operating with our European partners in the fight against crime and terrorism. We will also collaborate on initiatives in areas such as science, research and technology. However, there will be no EU auditors telling us what to do. In areas such as farming, we will be able to pilot new ways of doing things and deliver the change that British farming craves.
The Prime Minister was clear that we will be stronger, fairer, more united and more outward looking than ever before. We are leaving the European Union but we are not leaving Europe.