Diary - new railway timetable

Another intriguing day as the EU Withdrawal Bill is debated in Committee for the second day. This time its laws on employment and the environment that are in the spotlight. After a run, croissant and dealing with routine matters in the office, I headed to Committee Room 12 to meet the new MD, Andy Mellors, of South Western Railway, our new rail franchisee. He had brought quite a team with him and I and other MPs were grateful for their effort. SWR is currently consulting on a new timetable, which has caused a lot of feedback, not all of it good. Mr Mellors was most helpful and we discussed several issues, not least the timetable, investment for Weymouth station and upgrading the Salisbury line and improving Yeovil Junction, both of which would provide more capacity. The consultation ends on 22 December, with the timetable being decided in the spring of next year. I then spent some hours in the Chamber listening to the various contributions. There was some feedback from the adverse press the so-called Remainers on our side of the House had received in today's papers. Before the EU referendum result, us Brexiteers were subjected to a constant barrage of abuse. We took it because we knew that life in this particular kitchen was going to be hot. I dread to think of the continued abuse we would have received had we continued to campaign for Brexit if we'd lost the referendum. From my own perspective, had we lost, I  would have got on with it, although I would know in my heart that the EU would eventually have fallen. It really is time to move on now, to stand together and attempt to negotiate the best deal possible. Unfortunately, though, the EU is not interested in a fair deal and never will be. They see our departure as a direct threat to their cosy world and they will make our departure as hard as possible. Falling back on WTO rules is not the end of the world. Twenty-four countries, including China, Australia and the US, all have WTO arrangements with the EU. We are getting there.