THE day after the mammoth 585-page withdrawal agreement from the EU was published, an obscure news item illustrated why we need to quit the EU.

It concerns Britain’s arrangements to keep our lights on as more of our energy comes from so-called renewables, wind and sun. Of course sometimes the wind doesn’t blow and the sun fails to shine – not infrequently together. So the Government has agreed to pay the owners of shut-down coal, gas and nuclear plants a fee to keep them operable as emergency standby. But the EU’s Court of Justice has ruled against this safeguard. According to a leading energy analyst this could “create serious security of supply issues for the UK”.

In this context the good sense, or otherwise, of the payment is irrelevant. Surely it should be a matter for us alone to decide how our energy is provided and paid for? The role of EU Court of Justice in our affairs is a key issue in the withdrawal agreement.

Theresa May has said: “We’ve put in a set of governance that doesn’t involve the jurisdiction of the ECJ.” But Article 52 of the agreement allows the COJ to provide opinions/guidance to our courts or even – virtually a big stick – despatch an EU judge to our shore, the better to keep us in line.

This is just one of the areas where the letter of the agreement doesn’t quite match Mrs May’s assurances that she is delivering the Brexit people voted for.

Particularly alarming is a claim that certain clauses in the agreement, including the crucial provision to extend the two-year transition period indefinitely, with the EU’s consent needed to end it, had never been seen by the Brexit secretary.

According to a senior aide, Suella Braverman: “That was never agreed by ministers or Cabinet as far as I know. It never appeared in any draft agreements I saw.”

No doubt you are as weary of the entire Brexit farrago as I am. You’ll probably be pleased to learn that my resolve to keep battling for Brexit, in the belief it is vital to preserving our democracy, imperfect though it is, against government by a faceless elite, is seriously weakened.

I’d like to relay to you two opinions of the withdrawal agreement: One is from a QC, Martin Howe: “We would still be subject to a wide range of EU laws and rules, and to the rulings of its courts, while no longer having any vote or representation.” And this from Robert Tombs, a professor of history (French as it happens), at Cambridge University: “If Brexit is defeated it will prove not only the impotence of democracy in Britain, it will confirm the impotency of democracy throughout the EU. The lid will have been screwed down.”

My own thought: the cleverness of those who have undermined Brexit is to have moulded public opinion to the point where a second referendum, craftily labelled a People’s Vote, looks increasingly likely – with Remain probably victorious.

The Brexit saboteurs can hide behind that to get what they want. Thus Tony Blair, professedly a non-referendum man, is urging the vote.

Yet the EU is virtually founded on the concept that the experts know best, with the public marginalised as much as possible. Are we really that gullible?