YOU would probably prefer “No more on Brexit”. Sorry then. I prefer to go back to its very origins. It was on January 23, 2013 that Prime Minister David Cameron declared his intention to hold a referendum on the EU. Unrest over our membership had of course been building for years and Mr Cameron announced: “It is time to settle this European question… I say to the British people: ‘This will be your decision.’”

In 2015 Mr Cameron reinforced that message. He said: “This is a huge decision for our country, perhaps the biggest we will make in our lifetimes. And it will be final. When the British people speak their voice will be respected – not ignored. If we vote to leave then we will leave. There will not be another negotiation, and no other referendum.”

True to this, the Government’s (pro-Remain) referendum booklet, delivered to every home, promised unequivocally: “We will implement what you decide.”

Now let us turn to the claim made recently in this newspaper by Allison Drew, professor emerita in politics at York University. Urging a second referendum she argued: “The crucial difference between the June 2016 referendum and a second referendum is that the first vote was on a general principle – in or out – while a second referendum would be on Theresa May’s specific plan.”

Apart from the statements I have quoted above, it takes but a moment’s consideration to show this to be utter nonsense. If the first vote had been merely on a principle, that would have had to have been made clear at the time, with the follow-up “final” vote also indicated. And what would have been the effect? Knowing there was an escape from Leave, many more voters would have made that choice. Since very few people actually loved the EU, I would suggest a Leave vote of 70 per cent is not an over estimate.

Fact is, the Government handed the decision to us and we made it: “Leave,” we instructed. What has been particularly sad in the post-referendum shambles has been the lack of inspiring leadership on both sides. No-one has said anything that stirs the soul. For Remainer politicians, content (as I see them) to be the EU’s handmaidens, that failure perhaps doesn’t matter much. But on the Brexit side, the impotence in not expressing and harnessing national pride is deeply dispiriting. If you are a Brexit believer, is there anyone under whose command you would you feel the country was in ideal hands as it seeks to save and revitalise its vanishing sovereignty?

NEVER believing in the kind of blind loyalty that has seen all five Tees Valley local authorities fall in behind Mayor Ben Houchen’s ambitious/optimistic £40m rescue of Teesside Airport I can’t help feeling there is more than a touch of the Emperor’s New Clothes about his project. In this instance what the observers fail to recognise is that the Emperor seems somewhat overdressed. 1.4 million passengers through now-deserted check-ins. Annual loss of £2m converted into £421m regional gain. And those 7,682 anticipated jobs – such a precise number, the diamonds on the Emperor’s dazzling cloak. Rub your eyes. Is that really what you see?