The change in the political landscape

The following article was originally published in the North Wales Weekly News newspaper on 27 July 2016.
If a week, as Harold Wilson famously observed, is a long time in politics, six weeks is an absolute eternity.
The past six weeks have seen a complete transformation of the British political landscape.  The resignation of David Cameron, in response to the Leave vote in the referendum, triggered what was expected to be a nine-week leadership campaign.  In the event, after all the other candidates were eliminated or dropped out, Theresa May emerged as the unopposed leader, and Britain had its second female Prime Minister.
The  swiftness of the process was good for the country.  After the referendum result, it was necessary to restore political stability, which would not have been achieved if a protracted leadership contest had taken place.
On Saturday, 16 July, I was walking my dog when I received a telephone call.  It was the Downing Street switchboard.  As a consequence of the conversation that followed, I found myself unexpectedly appointed a member of Her Majesty’s Government as Minister of State in the newly-created Department for Exiting the European Union.
If I had been given the luxury of choosing  a governmental role, it would have been the one I was offered.  The new Department is responsible for negotiating Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on the best terms possible and agreeing our new relationship with our European neighbours.  It is a demanding task of great complexity and a huge political challenge.
The Parliamentary recess began last Thursday. I had hoped to take a few days off, after what has been a particularly heavy six months.  Instead, I found myself attending the British-Irish Council, the EU General Affairs Council, and numerous meetings with, among others, various farming unions.  I also officially reopened a pub in my constituency and saw a number of constituents with a variety of problems.
I’m not complaining.  Being a MP is one huge privilege, and being a Government minister is another.  The coming months will be crucial in shaping the  destiny of our country.  It is an exciting, challenging time and I am looking forward to playing my own part in helping to design the new Britain.

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