Every time I bump into people around Furness I feel compelled to apologise on behalf of the entire political establishment for this Brexit mess.

I know many are looking at parliament aghast as the clock ticks down towards the cliff edge of leaving with no deal which could do economic harm to the country of a scale never before seen in living memory. It makes me so angry to see the government sloshing billions of pounds up the wall preparing for this catastrophe.

It is my firm belief that no responsible Prime Minister would allow the country to blunder into self harm of this magnitude rather than pressing the emergency stop button if agreement on the form of Brexit cannot be reached. And yet Theresa May continues to waste literally billions on this game of brinkmanship. The appalling waste of money on measures too late to protect our country anyway is brought home every single day when we debate matters of huge importance to our communities and are told by ministers that there is no money to put them right.

Take the county lines epidemic for example, in which young people are being effectively enslaved by drug gangs to traffic illegal substances from big cities to areas like Barrow. It is good that the government has created a fund for projects that can help draw these young victims out of the world of criminality and lessen the trade of misery to our town. But how much money is available for it? Just £20 million per year while the government can put aside £4 billion in as many months to prepare for a no deal Brexit it says it does not want.

This is while teachers have to go cap in hand to government to plead for ‘little extras’ desperately needed in their classrooms and while local mesothelioma sufferers are told they still can’t get adequate compensation from long years of industrial work.

A few weeks ago I used this column to implore my colleagues to consider temporarily setting aside their party armbands in order to put the national interest first in this crisis. I am beginning to believe that Brexit will in fact tear our broken party system asunder with brave MPs from all sides stepping away from the failed leadership of Labour and Tory to embrace an entirely new approach. As an MP who is finding it so good to be able to fight for our area as an independent, I would wholeheartedly welcome others to the cause.