"Nnnnng. Urggggh. Bleugggh.” Roughly translated, this was David Davis’s way of saying he had lost his voice after being forced to spend two hours giving a statement to the House of Commons two days ago, following the government’s defeat in the supreme court, and was somewhat peeved to discover he was now required to answer Brexit departmental questions.

Hilary Benn, the chairman of the Brexit select committee, was the first to test the Brexit secretary’s voice and patience by asking who would arbitrate in future trade disputes once we had withdrawn from the European court of justice. “Nnnnng. Urggggh. Bleugggh,” said Davis. This appeared to mean that in the post-Brexit world order, everything would be sweetness and light, and if, in the unlikely event that there should be any minor disagreements, they could be patched up with the help of a relationship mediation counsellor. Dream on."