Like many people, I’ve been intrigued and astounded by the Brexit story playing out before us. Nearly three years after we voted to decide whether to remain within the EU or leave, the Government and parliament are still trying to resolve the referendum result.

The desire to “just be over with it” is understandable but seemingly difficult to achieve. Everyone wants to be rid of it but like a shadow from bright sunlight, it is inescapable. It blocks sight of nearly all other political issues.

But, if Brexit is like a shadow then climate change is surely the millstone around our necks. Over the last couple of weeks, this issue has even managed to punch through Brexit into our consciousness.

Newspapers have been reporting the vexation of politicians at the Extinction Rebellion protestors in London. Yet, it’s not more than a few weeks since the world halted to admire Greta Thunberg and the youngsters who were skipping school to demonstrate against the inaction of governments across the globe in tackling the issue.

Children skipping school sets many a pulse racing from across the political spectrum, for various reasons. But there’s no denying that choosing to skip school – because what’s the point of attending if those in power are squandering the future of our very planet’s youth, is a powerful challenge to which there has been little in the way of effective response.

This febrile political climate in which we’re orienting makes the forthcoming Watford local elections (and potentially EU parliamentary ones) very interesting indeed, because even local government impacts global climate change. Jeremy Corbyn has committed a future government to achieving the UK being a net zero emissions economy by 2050; following Ed Miliband’s stretching UK climate commitments in the last Labour government. Rightly so. Time is rapidly running out.

  • Matt Turmaine is a Labour councillor for Holywell