Tuesday 5 November

Tonight is the anniversary of the time when Guy Fawkes and fellow conspirators tried to blow up Parliament. It also happens to be the day that Parliament dissolves prior to the General Election. It's just a coincidence of course.

In truth though the gunpowder for this General Election is BREXIT and its resolution. For me the strategic requirement is to regain sovereignty; the right for this country to decide things for itself. Practically it is about determining our own rules and regulations, about controlling but not stopping immigration (perhaps through a points system), about ceasing the payment of roughly £175 million a week (the cost of a new hospital maybe) being sent to the European Union for no return and about being in control of our international trade policy. I think that is achieved by Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement.

I accept too that many feel all those things are a price worth paying and disagree with leaving the European Union in principle. However I do not, on balance, agree with them. Indeed most of the people I have talked to on the streets simply now want the business of leaving the European Union settled - and quickly too.

Nonetheless I remain unhappy about the arrangements for Northern Ireland but honestly believe they are manageable and will cease once we get a trade agreement with the European Union which I very much hope will be within a year or so. I believe in practice it will be much less of problem than in prospect.