Yet, other than Britain’s exit date from the EU edging even nearer, it is difficult to see what has changed. Reassurances sought by the Prime Minister over the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’ have still to materialise amid speculation that the Government may attempt to buy some time by extending Article 50 beyond March 29.
However, as MPs begin five days of contentious debate, it is important, more than ever, that politicians on all sides of the Brexit conundrum show the statesmanship – and civility – which the electorate expects of them.
If not, it will only give succour to the moronic minority who think it is acceptable to hurl inflammatory insults to politicians, and the media, with increasing frequency.
Those who thought it appropriate to describe Anna Soubry, the prominent Remain supporter, in vile terms as she was being interviewed by the BBC do not speak in any way whatsoever for the 17.4m people who backed Brexit in June 2016. Their views have more in common with the twisted ideology which led to Jo Cox, the then Batley & Spen MP, being stabbed to death by the far right fanatic Thomas Mair during the referendum campaign.
Equally, there is no justification for the contempt and aggression that some Remain activists have shown towards prominent Brexiteers. A Parliament that prides itself on being the cradle of democracy should be a place where people can meet MPs to express a range of views. That more politicians now require police protection from the public that they purport to serve is deeply troubling – and does not bode well for attempts to unite this country if and when there is some clarity and certainty on Brexit.