This time last year, when Boris Johnson was newly-installed as Prime Minister, few could have accurately guessed how it would all unfold. Regular contributor John Baron MP sets out his thoughts on the last year 

As Parliament rises for the Summer Recess, it is a good point to reflect on a tumultuous year. No-one can say that the last few years have been boring, but the 2017-2019 Parliament was a fractious and bitter assembly, with occasional moments of high farce, which few will look back on with much affection. The world now has changed beyond all recognition, but I continue to be an optimist.

No-one ever doubted Theresa May's sincerity or her commitment to her work and public service, and it was sad when she acknowledged that she had run out of road. However, her analysis was correct: the sole object of her administration was to clear the withdrawal agreement through Parliament, and three times the Commons had rejected it. With Parliament having voted on an unusually high number of wide-ranging amendments, including my own, I was amongst the small number of Conservatives who could not bring ourselves to vote for the agreement – which was a bad deal for Britain, whichever gloss was put on it.

Unlike the Labour Party, which resisted tooth and nail the most obviously correct course of action – namely to dump Jeremy Corbyn, who would prove electoral hemlock – the Conservative Party has never been afraid to dip its toe into the waters of public opinion and change leader accordingly. MPs and party members alike sensed that the country wished to bring Brexit to a conclusion, and voted for a person who made getting Brexit done his signature policy. The new Prime Minister made a good first speech outside Downing Street, to which I alluded in my last column, underlining that whilst Brexit was his primary aim, he wasn't a one-trick pony.

The Prime Minister made clear his intentions to get Brexit done at all costs when Parliament returned from its summer recess, by announcing that Parliament would be prorogued over the conference recess. Some in parliament lost their heads over this – few things were more ridiculous than Labour MPs posing in the Commons Chamber with signs reading 'silenced' – very few sitting days would have been lost, and the same MPs who had previously been complaining that it was one of the longest sessions of Parliament in history now took it upon themselves to complain that a fresh Queen's Speech was in the offing.

At around the same time, Speaker Bercow again permitted an SO24 emergency debate to wrest control of the business of the House away from the Government, which was used to pass the Benn/Surrender Act. As this undermined the Government's negotiating hand, and did much to hand control of Parliament to the opposition, the Chief Whip was left with little option but to withdraw the whip from the 21 rebels, which included several former Cabinet members and Churchill's grandson, an unusual event to be certain. The Secretary of State at the DWP later resigned in protest against these actions and surrendered the Conservative whip.

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Then followed the extraordinary Supreme Court case regarding the prorogation, which found in the middle of the conference season that the prorogation had never been. I still believe this was the wrong judgement, drawing the judiciary into deeply political territory, and the effects of it will continue to unfold for many years. The Conservative manifesto undertook to look at the reach of the judiciary, but events may have placed developments onto the back burner. This would be a mistake, and the Government would do well do tie up these constitutional loose ends before another set of judges does so on Parliament's behalf.

Despite the storm and stress over prorogation, the fact that Parliament in essence did nothing for the remaining fortnight of what should have been the conference season rather underlined that such extreme remainer tactics were unnecessary and represented a victory of process over substance. However, it sent a very strong message to the voting public that the Prime Minister was doing his damnedest to get Brexit done, which did him and the Conservatives precisely no harm in the long run. It was not the first time that extreme tactics by remainers ultimately did more damage to their cause than they realised all puffed up in their pomp. I wonder how many now rue the day that they did not back Theresa May's withdrawal agreement, but we may be grateful that they did not.

The remain faction, some of whom accused the Prime Minister of conducting 'sham negotiations' with the EU were cut off at the knees when he secured a new deal, including re-opening the withdrawal agreement which remainers had declared impossible. Other moves, including Parliament's torpedoing – at Oliver Letwin's instigation – the first Saturday sitting in several decades to satisfy the Surrender Act again played into Boris Johnson's hands.

Labour was left hoisted with their own petard, having continuously called for a General Election since the day after the 2017 election but then refusing to vote for one – the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act having translated the prerogative to call an early election from the Prime Minister to the Leader of the Opposition. Finally, a spectacular miscalculation from the Liberal Democrats cracked the opposition's will against an early election, and lay the route open for Boris Johnson's decisive victory in December's election which laid the groundwork for our much-delayed exit from the EU at the end of January.

I reiterate these events because it is sometimes easy to forget how momentous the last political year has been. This time last year, when Boris Johnson was newly-installed as Prime Minister, few could have accurately guessed how they would all unfold. As a Brexiteer and a Conservative, I am delighted the way these events played out. The odds of everything falling into place were long, but they did – remaining steadfast to the cause and true to the referendum result ultimately proving successful.

The coronavirus pandemic, which came later, has understandably thrown a long shadow over Parliament. Whilst everyday life has been interrupted, Parliament has been relatively calm since the end of January, except for initial opposition grumbles about the socially-distant Parliamentary voting procedures which everyone seems to have got used to very quickly. I have no doubt that Parliament will again become the site of heated debate and both high and low politicking, but there will be some distance to go before it can rival the extraordinary events of the last 12 months.

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