LOOK… I’m truly sorry about this… Brexit. Yes, I know you’re sick to death of it. So am I. But I’m sure we can also agree that however it turns out it will fix the destiny of our nation not just “for decades,” as the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg invariably says, but far into the future, probably for as long as Britain and/or the EU exists.

As a columnist I’m meant to have some skill in catching and holding your attention. What I hope you’ve just read is my latest, near-despairing effort to maintain interest in Brexit. But if you’re still with me let’s look together at the apparent Brexit end-game from a long perspective, opening with this question:

When our Queen’s reign comes to be assessed what will be the main overall view? Of course the Queen’s success, over more than 60 and perhaps even 70 years, in scarcely putting a foot wrong – though her tardiness in visiting Aberfan and the public’s tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales, were serious false steps – will figure highly. But the stand-out historic fact of Elizabeth II’s reign will be that when it started Britain still presided over an Empire on which the sun never set, while at the end its colonial writ, if you like, barely reached Scotland. Not only that but Britain herself had become a colony, her master the Europe against whose descent into barbarism she had stood alone just a few years before Elizabeth ascended the throne.

You don’t have to take my word for the post-Brexit colony status we’re heading for through the Withdrawal Agreement Mrs May pledges heart and soul to push through Parliament. There could be no-one better qualified to highlight it than a former Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer.

Putting our transition in context he has explained how Australia gradually shed ties that bound it to British law. That separation was confirmed as recently as 1986 when the Australia Act, passed by the Parliaments of both countries, “put beyond doubt any capacity under any circumstance for either country to legislate in the affairs of the other”.

Of the comparable post-Brexit EU/UK relationship, Mr Downer notes: “The UK will initially leave all voting mechanisms of the EU but remain in its customs union and single market.” He adds we will need the EU’s permission to leave the customs union which, though he doesn’t spell it out, sets tariffs and therefore can inhibit our freedom to make our own trade deals. But he remarks: “Imagine how we would feel if all our trade and commercial laws were made in London without an Australian having a seat at the table… Any Australian with any sense of national self-respect would regard that as outrageous… It would be an abrogation of national sovereignty, turning us into a colony. Yet from March 29 next year that’s exactly the position the UK will be with the EU.”

So there you have it. The assessment of our Queen’s reign will seek to answer how it came about that a nation which, for centuries, had been a beacon and bulwark of democracy, its Parliament renowned as The Mother of Parliaments, placed itself in colonial shackles. Well, it won’t have been my fault. How about you?