Reporting back - Life at Westminster with Andrew Jones

I watched a Spitfire flypast during the 1940s event at Valley Gardens. (NADV 18061722AM8)
I watched a Spitfire flypast during the 1940s event at Valley Gardens. (NADV 18061722AM8)

Alongside the heatwave the political temperature has been pretty hot too. Unsurprisingly, as we near our departure date from the European Union (EU), decisions have to be made.

And equally unsurprisingly some people will be unhappy with those decisions.

In fact, whatever the position on the Brexit negotiations people on both sides of the argument are left unhappy.

Those who want to remain in the EU and will not accept the result of the referendum are unhappy because they want to stay in.

There are those who want nothing more than leaving the EU without any trade deal at all.

The truth of the matter is that while we wish to buy from and sell to other EU countries we cannot (and should not even if we could) sever all our ties with the EU.

That is because trade itself is a series of interacting relationships.

This will remain true even if there is ‘no deal’ with the European Union.

In that scenario, we will still have a relationship with them probably based on World Trade Organisation rules.

Therefore, some level of relationship with the EU is inevitable as long as trade between us exists. And there are other considerations, such as security and defence.

As we approach the autumn when whatever the deal will be needs to be in place, then the closeness – or not – of that relationship will become clear and views reached on whether the totality is acceptable.

It will be an interesting few months.

The only national event able to shift the Brexit resignations from the headlines was our dramatic progress in the World Cup.

I was fortunate enough to watch the semi-final with colleagues in 10 Downing Street and the atmosphere was electric.

The result was not the one for which we had hoped but the pride in their country shown by our players and the support given to them from far beyond those interested in football was amazing.

In an age when things seem to divide us, our national team brought us together.

And, it always means more somehow when there is a local connection and I am pleased that Harrogate Borough Council is reported to be considering bestowing a Civic Honour on our inspirational team manager and local resident Gareth Southgate.

It will be well-deserved.

Were it not for these two national headline titans another story might have gained prominence for somewhat longer; that is the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.

I watched the flypast from the House of Commons of aircraft from over the decades.

From the most modern stealth aircraft to a Lancaster Bomber in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, accompanied by Spitfires.

I saw a Spitfire flypast during the magnificent 1940s days in the Valley Gardens.

The flyby last week reminded me again that these small, noisy planes were at the cutting edge of aviation technology and people are still alive today who flew them during the war.

It reminded me too that those pilots, their support crew and the workers in the factories were the wafer thin line between us having a Europe where we can debate and decide our future and a very different Europe where, by now, debate would have been a distant memory.