UK's best years are to come in wake of Brexit
With the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill finally receiving Royal Assent after going through both houses of Parliament, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has finally been given the power, as expressed by the people of the United Kingdom in the referendum on June 23 last year, to invoke Article 50 and start the process of the UK leaving the European Union.
The hard work is now only starting for the Government, as negations will be very tough and complicated, with the untangling of more than 40 years of EU legislation affecting everything we do and every person in the UK.
The stance taken by the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, is the correct one and, as the Prime Minister has said, no deal is better than a bad deal.
The European Union has more to lose than the United Kingdom if no deal is reached and we walk away in terms of the UK's trade deficit with the EU.
I am very optimistic that the United Kingdom has a great future outside the European Union. The reduction in legislation, with more local control and accountability, will be of great benefit to every person and business.
The end of billions of pounds being given to the EU every year, without any accountability, or control, is also very important.
A large proportion of this money is squandered in bureaucracy, or in the ideal of a United States of Europe project, instead of going to fund more worthy causes for local people.
The key aims and objectives of the European Union have never had any concern for the needs of the United Kingdom and, as a result, British manufacturing and industry has suffered over the last 40-plus years of our membership.
Our decision to leave the EU will be proved the correct one in the long run and it will be in our own hands how much of a success we make of it.
The ability to control our own borders and immigration numbers will also be of huge benefit.
We are no longer an inward-looking state of the European Union, but an outward-looking country, a proud nation with the benefits of deciding our own destiny and creating our own trade deals with the rest of the world.
The United Kingdom will once again become a world force in free trade and, with the many opportunities that Brexit will bring for manufacturing and business, the best years of the United Kingdom are truly still to come.
Castlederg, Co Tyrone