With the cooler mornings and colouring trees there is a more than a touch of autumn in the air. And with autumn comes the start of term - on Sunday I very much enjoyed the 'Back to School' service the beautiful setting of St Paul's, Bentley Common. As someone who was involved in education for a long time, this moment in the year always rings a bell inside me. Right now I am starting term again, but this time in Parliament. And what a term it promises to be.
The vast European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, also known as the Repeal Bill, is being introduced. This will transpose EU law into UK law and is vital to the Brexit process. By the time you read this MPs will have had their first vote on it (the first of many).
I am receiving lots emails about the Bill and the negotiations on our withdrawal from the EU. The majority of those writing are urging me to support the Prime Minister. This is what I intend to do.
The Prime Minister has been clear that she wishes to minimise disruption to businesses and individuals. That is the purpose of the Bill which will transfer EU law, including the case law of the European Court of Justice, into UK law at the point of the UK's departure from the EU. This will make sure that the UK has a functioning statute book when it leaves the EU and it will provide the maximum amount of certainty, control and continuity.
Doing this will mean that workers' rights, consumer protection and environmental laws will not change – both businesses and employees will benefit from this certainty. It will also mean that is possible for the British Parliament to amend what was previously EU law – and in that important sense, Parliament will have become sovereign again.
This process is going to require some grindingly hard work. The Bill is having to do some fiendishly complex things. But this work is completely necessary to ensure that the Brexit process already underway causes minimum disruption and creates maximum opportunity for our country.