Diary - getting our country back

Another extraordinary day; in fact historic day! The day ended with the majority of MPs (4 to 1) voting to send the EU Withdrawal Bill up to the Lords. It was a surreal moment, standing with hundreds of colleagues after the Third Reading of this Bill which, when enacted, will allow the PM to trigger Article 50 and begin the negotiations to leave the EU. I never thought I'd live to see the day. It was not a day for gloating, in fact far from it. And I pay tribute to those, especially on my own side, who voted with us to push on with the will of the people, despite their own misgivings. I know that had the boot been on the other foot, I would have felt gutted. But, there we go. Politics is a rollercoaster of a ride and that's what makes it so fascinating. PMQs saw the PM and Mr Corbyn fight it out over the NHS and funding. Neither scored a direct hit, I thought, although the PM keeps her cool most impressively, arguing her case in her own forthright style. Mrs May is an impressive woman and doing a fabulous job. She deserves our support and is getting it. A working lunch, then off to our weekly European Scrutiny Committee, which was once again in private. Each week, we look at the legislation and regulatory suggestions that flood in from Brussels. It really is quite terrifying how the EU wishes to interfere in every walk of our life, with little, if any, regard to sovereignty. Thank God we are leaving! Later there was a mass of constituency correspondence to deal with, my weekly newspaper column and a follow up to our meeting regarding the hounding of those soldiers who have served in N Ireland. Meanwhile, in the High Court, Al Blackman's case entered Day Two. Claire and her team were generally happy by the way things had gone yesterday and felt that today's session was equally helpful to Al's case. Now Al, Claire and team have to wait for a couple of weeks or so for the judges' verdict as to whether they change the initial verdict from that of murder to manslaughter. If the latter, they will have to agree a sentence, which we hope will see Al released on the basis of time already served. All my fingers are crossed. Final vote today at about 2010 and hundreds of us wandered through the Division Lobby in what is probably another milestone in our island history. I left to join one of my oldest friends to celebrate his 60th birthday feeling so proud and humbled in equal measure. The British people had spoken and we, for once, had followed their instructions.