I HAD wondered whether I might have used this column for the last word on the recent local elections.

But, as there is the by-election in June that resulted from the death of a former councillor and candidate, one final piece of the electoral map for Bicester needs completing.

However, this will likely be my last column in this series for two reasons. Although I remain a Lib Dem county councillor, at least until the 2021 electoral test, there is now a Lib Dem councillor on Cherwell District Council and he will be better placed to discuss Bicester matters than I am.

Also, Lib Dem parliamentary candidates traditionally remain in place for a year after a general election, unless a new candidate is selected sooner. My year as shadow candidate following the 2017 general election also comes up before the next Lib Dem contribution to this series of political columns.

For these reasons, it is fitting that I pass the baton, or in this case the word processor, to someone else to continue the sequence in future.

This has been an interesting year. Nationally, it has been dominated by the runaway train that is Brexit. With less than a year to go now before the biggest change in our society for almost half a century, little seems fixed.

While the Lib Dems as a party are completely opposed to the lemming-like dash for national catastrophe that will affect their living standards of every family in the country, the other two main political parties are rent by divisions that seem to prevent any sensible planning for our future.

As are result, we risk becoming a more divided society that undermines many of the political goals that I have worked for throughout my adult life in politics.

Meanwhile, our negotiating partners in Europe are greatly disturbed by the signs of ever-increased xenophobia at official level in the UK, and the often appalling consequences for individuals, communities and groups.

The Windrush saga showed conclusively that the present UK government simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing, and that it is in fact quite willing to dispense with due process and go to considerable lengths to do what it knows to be morally indefensible in the pursuit of short-term internal political advantage.

This is not the sort of negotiating partner with which the EU can easily commit itself to a new long-term relationship; that relies on mutual trust and enduring confidence.

The future shape of a post-Brexit Europe is at stake, and all the UK government has so far brought to the table has been lacking in credible details.

Bicester will survive and probably thrive in the post-Brexit world, but many elsewhere in the UK may not be so fortunate. Now that we know more about the consequences of the referendum, I personally believe that there is a case for a single issue election to reassert the primacy of our parliamentary democracy once and for all.