The EU Withdrawal Agreement Act has been signed into law and on Friday we fire the starting gun on the transition period which signals the beginning of our exit from the European Union.
This effectively brings to an end three and a half years of political paralysis and democratic defiance and I personally believe that Brexit, rather than being like a bullet to the temple, will be in a shot in the arm that will stimulate our democratic process, economic trade and international networks.
I feel a sense of optimism but if I am struggling to feed my kids and keep the lights on in six months, I pledge to make a public apology.
And unlike many bloody-minded Brexiteers who wish to bung a bob for a Big Ben bong, I do not revel in the sorrow of friends for whom this marks a sad occasion.
After a House of Lords clerk delivered the EU Withdrawal Bill to the Commons last week following royal assent, Hannah Bardell MP tweeted: “That’s it. We are leaving the EU and I am heartbroken.”
The last week has been an indication of what we can expect going forward, so let me download some important highlights.
Read more from Ewan Gurr here
Firstly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended a UK-Africa Investment Summit last Monday when he set out his ambitions for post-Brexit trade with African nations.
He said: “We are not just a great friend and reliable ally but also the people you should be doing business with.”
He added that the UK is “also the partner of today, tomorrow and decades to come”.
This is an important shift from the colonial racism that has constricted relationships with Commonwealth nations we cut off by joining the European Economic Community (EEC) in the 1970s.
Charles de Gaulle, the French president between 1959 and 1969, vetoed British entry to the EEC in 1963 because the UK refused to “renounce all Commonwealth preferences”.
By welding ourselves to EU regulations, we lamentably impoverished African nations we had traded with for centuries.
Secondly, in contrast to the contraction of the Eurozone, the global economy has just seen an upswing as the US signed new trade deals with Canada, China and Mexico.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos last Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said: “We look forward to negotiating a new deal with the United Kingdom”, adding that Boris Johnson is keen to open talks.
A fifth of our current trade is with the US but now we can forge a free trade deal with the world’s biggest economy.
Finally, the economic girth of the EU has shrivelled to a stump and is half what it was when we joined in 1973.
It is time for us to throw off the international shackles, economic introspection and colonial racism that has stunted our potential and take our place once again on the world stage.