At 11 pm on 31 October the UK becomes an independent nation again, promised by our likely next Prime Minister. Many of us will wish to celebrate this much heralded and delayed event.
You would expect national media to show the countdown to the moment through the movement of the hands on the clock on the Elizabeth Tower at Westminster, known as Big Ben. It is perhaps symbolic that this Parliament which has done so much to try to stop us becoming independent again, and so much to thwart the results of the referendum, should have decided the clock is unavailable on the stated date. We need to find a good alternative to look at.
There are many great public clocks around the UK. Should we turn to Big Brum on the Council House in Birmingham? Or to Manchester Town Hall clock, or Leeds Town Hall, or the Liver building? I invite your thoughts.
It is time for us to be confident as a nation, proud of our democratic traditions and keen to be an outward looking global influence for the good. We will regain our votes and voices on international bodies and be better able to shape our future as we wish.
JULY 22, 2019
Today I expect Boris Johnson to be elected Leader of the Conservative party. Tomorrow he will take over as Prime Minister.
He will intensify so called No deal planning and get ready to implement his promise to leave the EU on 31 October.
The media is running the view that he will not be getting on planes to go to see EU leaders asking for a renegotiation. The Cameron/May style of European negotiation travelling as a supplicant to the capitals of Europe did not work for them or the UK. The UK should accept the EU often expressed view that they cannot re open the Withdrawal Agreement. The EU then has to understand the UK cannot sign the Withdrawal Agreement.
Once this has been understood it is then possible to discuss a potential free trade agreement and work on more improvements to trade arrangements for our departure. The EU Brexit officials would be welcome in London for positive talks on mutually advantageous trade arrangements . In the meantime WTO rules, a new lower UK tariff schedule and the WTO Facilitation of Trade Agreement will ensure trade continues.