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17 September 2018

Brexit for Dummies

A Brief History

About two years ago there was a referendum on whether we should all eat a Full English Brexit or opt for the healthier Continental option. Just over half the country voted in favour of the Full English Brexit and ever since then we have been a Disunited Kingdom inhabited on the one hand by ‘Brexiteers’ and on the other by ‘Remoaners’.

It was all started by a man called Nigel who was uncomfortable with hearing foreign languages being spoken on the train and yearned for the ‘good old days’ when farage balloons were flying over London and we were busy telling the pesky Germans where to stick their bratwursts.

He started a political movement called UKIP which came to be known as the Kippers (which, as you know, also feature as an option on Full English Brexit menus). UKIP was so successful that eventually they represented as much as 0.3% of the British House of Commons which  threw the then Prime Minister “Call-me-Dave” Cameron into a blind panic, believing that the Kippers were causing a stink by stealing Conservative votes. So Dave went for discussions with the European Onion to see if he could peel away some of the layers without causing tears at bedtime. He returned waving a piece of paper, declaring “Peace in our time”. Sorry, that was someone else, back in the good old days. But the effect was the same; it wasn’t peace and he hadn’t persuaded anyone to make the Continental option look more like the Full English. But he was confident that he had, and so triggered the referendum which he knew he would win, which he didn’t.

The Kippers were more successful in gaining entry to the European Parliament thanks to a different voting system, and they devoted their time to frustrating proceedings, led by Nigel who (I felt in a rather un-British way) proceeded to personally insult the people running the European Onion, in particular the President of the Commission; Nigel told him he had the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk and the charisma of a wet dishcloth (or something along those lines) .. i.e., British diplomatic manners at their finest.

Back in Britain, Nigel the Chief Kipper, failed to get himself elected to the British Parliament in spite of having built up a fanatically loyal fan base rather like the one ‘The Donald’ built in the USA. In fact Nigel actually spoke at one of Donald’s rallies. They both have a lot in common.

Where are we now?

As we approach the time when we must depart the shores of the European Onion, there has been much talk about staying within the supermarket. This is understandable because having been inside the supermarket for 40 years we are still unsure about where they’ve put the custard powder this week. I think it is wise to stay inside the supermarket until we find out, but Prime Minister May has accepted that in order to exit the supermarket there is a price to pay on exit (which is known as the ‘Checkout’). She has come up with a plan known as the Checkers Plan allowing us to go past the checkers without too much fuss, and be taken home in a big red bus stuffed with extra money for the NHS.

Nigel wants nothing to do with the supermarket because it’s full of nasty foreign stuff, and you can never find the custard powder or, come to think of it, the Marmite. He wants British Aisles. He also wants less freedom of movement (though to my mind, you couldn’t have much less, what with all those shopping trolleys). Now the one consistent thing about the supermarket is that the fruit and vegetable section is always near the entrance and it tends not to move about too much, but even here the Kippers are complaining that there’s a preponderance of Brussels, and moreover the leeks are being seen to by Polish plumbers. And if you find yourself in front a large beetroot that is, as often as not, just Nigel getting very, very angry.

Now the ‘Three Brexiteers’, Bonkers Boris Johnson, Evil Doctor Fox, and the Honourable Member for the 18th Century, Jacob Rees Smug, are telling us that life outside both the supermarket and something called the Custard Union is going to be a bowl of cherries, because the Germans are still going to want to sell us their big Aldi cars (and even the Lidl ones), the French will still want to sell us their wine, and the Dutch will still want to sell us their cheese for so long as it takes for us to find the flavour.

The Custard Union is something that causes much consternation because it raises the subject of some Celtic border or other, possibly the Cornish Border? (At least a ‘hard’ border here would deal with those pirates of Penzance). But I digress; I am advised that we are concerned here with the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, across which there is much agricultural trade, and I’m assuming this is the reason for concern about a ‘hard’ border jeopardising the ‘Good Friday Peas Agreement’.

So, all in all, this is turning out to be a bit of a Dog’s Brexit, but I hope I’ve helped to throw some light on the subject, so you can vote sensibly when we have a referendum on the referendum, or possibly a General Election producing a Labour Government which will put the great British sausage into Public Ownership. Pass the custard mustard.

Lionel Beck
September 2018