Tuesday 4 December 2018 will go down in history for many reasons. Americans queued up to walk past their 41st President as he lay in state in the US Capitol. In the face of rioting in Paris President Macron of France caved in and reversed a decision to increase petrol prices – a move any British Chancellor of the Exchequer would think was routine Budget business. What Presidents Trump and Xi agreed at their recent summit was disputed and caused stock-market uncertainty. Australia released bilbies into the wild. In India Priyanka Chopra married wearing a 75 foot wedding veil. And here in Britain Parliament began discussing the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal – the Withdrawal Agreement.

Before the debate began, and in quick succession, the government lost three votes