Just a few more hours to the cutting of formalised engagement of the UK with the European Union. It has been an arduous and fraught three years since the British public cast their votes on whether this country should remain a Member State within the EU, or whether it should leave. By a small but clear margin the majority voted to Leave. The consequence was an upheaval in domestic politics at Westminster and consternation elsewhere in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and indeed throughout Europe. England voted definitively to leave the EU whilst Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland saw majorities voting to Remain - with consequent disquiet and resentment in these constituent parts of the UK. Resentment which rumbles on into 2020 (and probably beyond) giving nationalist sentiment a surge of belief in their own divorce from the Westminster parliament, especially in Scotland.
Despite manifold attempts to circumvent the Referendum outcome by those minded to force a rethink, or even a second vote - the General Election result this past November saw a Tory Party now led by a leadership with avowed intent to get on with sundering Britain's formal engagement with the EU (but not with Europe) secure a strong majority of Parliamentary constituency seats. This has brought to a shuddering halt the machinations of those minded to negate these objectives. The Blairs, Heseltines, Majors and camp followers have folded their tents and returned to deserved obscurity from which they briefly emerged over three long years to pursue contrary opinions to the media at large.
The EU interlocuter on these matters, a M. Barnier, remains steadfast in a fighting retreat defending and promoting the European Union's hardwon strategies of speaking (if not acting) for all of its Member States interests. Gone are previous actors (Messrs Tusk and Junker) to deserved obscurity in Poland and Luxembourg. In their place we have a pragmatic German lady and I believe equally realistic Belgian gentleman to front the EU's rights and objectives vis a vis Britain's decision to remove itself from their exclusive club.
In London a pugilistic minded Prime Minister ably backed by ardent Ministers sharing avowed intent to speedily ensure Britain is freed from EU malarky which has taken up much of our country's time and energies for far too long. The next rounds of combat over well manicured table settings and much shuttling back and forth across the Channel - will no doubt provide ever more entertainment for the media in the coming months. That one man has set all this in motion with single minded passion and persuasion is in and of itself remarkable. Mr Farage will go down in history books as the person who nudged a country on to a different political and economic track and in so doing altered the status quo of an entire continent. The photo was taken at completion of the Blackpool Count of the National Referendum of UK Membership of the European Union. Under the Vote Leave banner this town voted overwhelmingly to remove itself from the EU - one of the largest majorities in England as it happens. Today is the watershed moment marking a new beginning for Britain.