Well, here we go again! The Prime Minister has fired the starting gun for a General Election, the sound of which has startled many people. It would seem that we have had an overabundance of politics over the past 18 months, what with the Labour party trying to sort itself out, the whole Brexit campaign resulting in the previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigning in July 2016 and Theresa May stepping up to the plate. There have also been local government elections and the US Presidential race that seemed to go on forever, all of which has resulted in endless media coverage and comment no wonder we are suffering from ’political brain fade’!

On a practical level, the impact of Brexit and the General Election has implications for the trade associations representing the downstream oil industry and, indeed, all representative bodies. Not only is this a time when campaigning and canvassing take centre stage, but it is also when the day-to-day business of government effectively stops until a new administration is elected.

So far, so boring you might say. But getting the issues that matter to you fed into the government machine, and using best efforts to ensure that those issues are understood, along with the sector’s opinion on the best way forward, are vital to driving better regulation and policy.

It might also mean that, where your trade association thought it was really getting somewhere, it might be back to square one as incoming ministers will need to re-examine each case from scratch, a process that may take time and involve consultations with different government departments, agencies and so on.

So where am I going with this? Well, it’s really to say that despite all of the above we should really cherish the democratic system in this country which brings all this ’politics’ into our lives.

We should also be thankful that we have a proficient, stable and capable civil service managing government affairs, much as we might moan about them. Looking around the world today, we have much to be grateful for because of and despite referendums and General Elections.