RETURNING to Westminster this week, I reflect on one of my favourite hymns - “Lead Kindly Light” - written in 1833 by John Henry Newman, who was recently made a Saint, writes MP Rachel Maclean in her Letter from Westminster.

Hearing this again recently I was struck by the relevance of some of the lines in particular:

“Lead kindly light amidst the encircling gloom

“Keep thou my feet I do not ask to see

“The distant scene, one step enough for me

I am a practising Christian and often turn to words from those wiser than me and from outside the world of politics to give me strength and inspiration.

I realise that readers often expect their politicians to have all the answers, but I am humble enough to recognise that I am only human and do not have powers of seeing into the future.

So I cannot say for certain where we will be by the time this column goes to press, but I do believe that this is a time for moving forward and looking for ways to put the division behind us.

This has been a difficult time full of conflict and it is that I regret more than ever. I have lost personal friends and there are members of my family who are estranged from me because of Brexit. I expect others are in the same boat.

However we all voted, it’s the uncertain prolongation of this process that is more damaging than any other outcome, for people, businesses and organisations looking to prepare.

In the current Brexit crisis it is important to listen to people who take the opposite view. I have discussed and worked closely with opposition MPs and those from my own benches who take a different view to me.

I sincerely and empathically understand the concerns of those who voted Remain - the 48 per cent, or in Redditch the 38 per cent.

I voted remain myself, so I have never dismissed these out of hand.

But I came to the view very early on before I was even elected to Parliament, that the British people had been given the choice to exercise a decision about their membership of the European Union. They were given this choice and they were told that politicians would implement it. This for me is bigger than leave or remain, it is about the integrity of our political process and protection of trust in democracy in our country.

For this reason I have consistently maintained a position that we should honour that result but we should leave with a set of arrangements to ensure a smooth and orderly Brexit.

I have taken a pragmatic compromise position and I still stick to this. I have never however shied away from the basic common sense view that in order to get a deal, you need to be prepared to walk away from the negotiating table.

30 years of business experience have taught me that. So I haven’t joined MPs who have tried to tie the government’s negotiating hands.

Of course I am well aware that this means that there are some people reading this who don’t agree with me - either because they wish to leave without a deal or because they wish to remain in the EU, or who would prefer a different deal.

I recognise that I can never satisfy all of these conflicting views, it is totally impossible. What I would say is that I have been true to the promises I made when I stood for election as your MP and I will always provide open and honest responses to any questions about Brexit that I’m asked.

I am therefore taking things one step at a time and I am guided by the promises I made to voters at the election.

And every day when the House is sitting I attend prayers before we start our debates and I ask for light to come out of the darkness. I strongly believe our country can get through this and we can heal the rifts and move on. That is something worth fighting for.