Brexit Musings (15) – Waking-Up To BuzzFeed


Brexit guru, David Davis, was having a dream. The UK had become prosperous again, and the world’s 3rd largest economy. Stoke-on-Trent was rapidly becoming Europe’s cultural hotspot, and Liverpool, Europe’s largest seaport. Britain was still linked to Europe, although the Channel Tunnel had been sealed off and filled with sea water, as a precautionary measure. Britain’s link to continental Europe was via a beautiful golden bridge, drafted by Boris Johnson, designed by computers, and built by Polish and Romanian workers. The bridge was too narrow to allow large families, carrying overfilled rucksacks, to cross to England. Only smart-looking, slim white Europeans, carrying elegant briefcases, and presenting a certificate of their bachelor degree, neatly tucked away between the middle pages of a brand new, navy blue, EU passport, were capable of crossing the bridge, and allowed to do so. This was immigration control at its very best – the very best of British.

But all good things must come to an end, and good dreams are no exception. Having woken up to an alarm-clock version of “La Traviata”, and spent an eternity in the bathroom, David Davis was now casually browsing through the many emails he had received, whilst savouring a cappuccino coffee and the warmth of his morning croissant. There was no English breakfast in this house – petit déjeuner, par excellence.

The mood changed, however, when he came across an email sent from a senior cabinet colleague, marked “urgent and confidential“. The email was signed and encoded, so that there was no chance of it being spam or containing a virus.

The email contained a link to an online article published by BuzzFeed. Davis clicked and felt his heartbeat immediately accelerate in expectation of what he might read. However, on reading the headline of the article and the first few lines, the exact opposite occurred. His heart rate fell by the second, and his face turned to a whiter shade of pale.

The article was entitled, “This Leaked Government Brexit Analysis Says The UK Will Be Worse Off In Every Scenario.” It outlined the official view of the UK government on the economic consequences of Brexit. According to the report, the exact nature of the Brexit deal would only have an effect on the magnitude of the economic downfall that is going to occur, once the UK has left the EU.

David Davis had, at last, understood the nature of Brexit, and why he wasn’t given any notes when he went to Brussels, for the first time. “I’m going to stop caring,” he thought. It was too late, anyway, to do anything about the irreversible path that the UK had embarked on.

Once in parliament, Theresa May only confirmed what had been published on BuzzFeed. It was true that the economy of the North of England, so keen to get the UK out of the reach of Brussels, would be up to 16 percentage points worse off, after Brexit. Even the best possible deal – the softest Brexit possible – would not protect the UK from a sharp and prolonged economic meltdown. And not even the mass arrival of chlorinated chickens from the US, could change that.

At the end of the day, David Davis met up with Boris Johnson. They discussed the events of the day, and didn’t seem to be too bothered by the gloomy economic forecasts. It was still quite clear that the Brexiteers had won, and that was all that mattered – even if they clearly do not know what the prize is, if there is a prize. The UK is going to leave the EU, no matter what. For Davis, it is no longer a question of staying in the customs union or in the single market, because he doesn’t want to be part of a concept he, and others, don’t understand. His sole aim in life is to get a deal – the best possible deal for the UK. His position reflects the UK’s complete unpreparedness for the upcoming negotiations, beyond the word “deal”. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least, if the content of the deal were to be another “deal” – rather like Russian dolls.

“You know what the trouble is, BJ?”

No,” said Boris, as he sipped the beer from his second pint.

“The Remoaners never realize when it’s time to give up. It reminds me of a joke.”

“Do tell,” Johnson’s eyes were bulging.

“It’s the one about an Irishman, Scotsman, Welshman, and Englishman, in a lift. The Englishman wanted to get out, and they were all forced to get out.”

Johnson chuckled, not realising that the joke wasn’t quite accurate. The Welsh did, in fact, vote for Brexit. As for the English, the Remoaners may have lost, but at just under 49%, they certainly cannot be ignored, on the way out.