This is a sequel to the post “12 ways to make it look like Brexit has happened“
So my tongue in cheek post about ways to make it look like Brexit has happened turned out to be a huge success.
Newspapers Tabloids have even repeated some of the ideas! But they, and the collective brain of Twitter, have come up with a whole lot more ingenious and clever suggestions about how to make it look like Brexit has happened without actually leaving the EU. So here are the new ideas – enjoy!
13) Everything about Brexit is an ‘opportunity’
Scared about the prospect of Brexit? Don’t be! Everything about it is an opportunity! Welcome to the sunlit uplands of Brexit land. Any opportunity? It has to be seized, says May. Tourism? It’s an opportunity (presumably because Sterling has already depreciated). Northern Ireland? Opportunities! SMEs? Yes, opportunities there too. All of this is the perfect complement to suggestion 1) Brexit means Brexit – keep talking up Brexit, because all of that success can actually happen without Britain needing to leave the EU.
14) Encourage the tabloids to keep writing stories as if the UK has left the EU
I’m not sure The Express or The Sun really need much encouragement, but they have nevertheless been doing a sterling job already – keep it up! Just today The Sun wrote “Since voting for Brexit, the United Kingdom is no longer subject to one sentence or comma of the monumental acquis communautaire, or accumulated body of EU law” I’ll believe that if the pro-Brexit voters will! Keep it between us though, will you? Meanwhile The Sun has its own top 10 ways to say up yours to the EU, sadly having not however realised that some of their ideas are possible without leaving the EU (as I show here).
15) Reintroduce imperial measurements
I’m a little sad I did not have this in my original list, as I had foolishly assumed this one was passé. But no, Bill Cash in The Sun, and the Daily Telegraph, have both got themselves into a lather about it. But the good news for them is that imperial measures are already allowed – it just cannot be compulsory, and metric measures have to be shown too in the same size text. Which is probably no bad thing as metrification in the UK pre-dates the UK joining EEC and anyone younger than 40 or so hasn’t got a clue about half the imperial measures. I’d encourage the UK government to make it clear that imperial should be taught in schools (Brits need to understand the Americans after all), and a law stating that pints of beer in pubs, pints of milk in refillable bottles, and roadsigns in miles, are all allowed, as is dual-labelling in imperial and metric for everything else. There you go, sorted!
16) Save the British electric plug and driving traditions
Two things annoy the British when they are overseas: they cannot use their traditional square pinned plugs, and everyone else drives on the wrong side. So the House of Commons ought to pass a law making it clear that neither plugs nor the side of the road the Brits will drive on will ever change and indeed, in the driving case, the Brits were the ones who were correct all along – as it was that pesky Frenchman Napoleon who forced everyone to switch. Let’s have some pride for having kept Napoleon at bay! It’ll even reinforce the idea that Britain is a great country! Of course anyone who thinks about it would realise that changing either of these things would be a huge economic cost and hence it will not happen, but in post-Brexit Britain there’s no trust for experts or economists. So let’s have some symbolism!
This is related to point 15) above about turning back metrification. Why stop with confusing weights and measures? How about making the British Pound fiendishly hard to use as well, but making the population hark back to the pre-1971 days when a pound was 20 Shillings, and a Shilling was 12 Pence, making a Pound a round 240 Pence? Think of how it would improve British kids’ mental arithmetic, and give Brexiteers that warm 1950s feeling! And doable without leaving the EU. Of course a less radical version of this would be to reintroduce the decimal half-penny from the 1980s.
18) Protect British teabags and jam
I was not aware that British teabags cannot be recycled due to the EU. In fact it is actually not true, but that didn’t stop The Sun demanding it be re-allowed just last week. And also demanding that rules on the percentage of fruit in jam are vital to British identity (again this isn’t actually a real issue). In the same way as my suggestion 7) protects the bendy cucumber, I think a “Real British Tea” (including recycling instructions on the label) and a “Real British Jam” label should do the trick.
19) Proper Parmesan (or Parmo)
You cosmopolitan readers of my blog thought Parmesan was a cheese from Italy, right? Wrong! It’s actually a sort of fast food from Teesside, one of the areas of the UK that voted most strongly for Brexit. So from now on Parmesan in the UK is a slab of pork or chicken bashed flat, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. The Italian cheese can of course still be sold in the UK, but shall only be called Parmigiano-Reggiano as that sounds foreign enough to make sure no Brexiteers accidentally buy it.
20) Introduce an automated operator message for calls to The Continent
Back in the olden days when you called an international number you had to be put through by an operator. This made such a call something unusual and special, and showed how cut off the UK was from the rest of The Continent. The government should mandate all telephone providers to re-introduce an operator message before a call connects (with a suitable 1950s voice), although today this could be automated. It could also warn of how expensive the call will be as the pound has lost more than 10% of its value since the Brexit vote.
What better way to show Brexit has happened than to build a living memorial to it? A Brexit Museum! This would ideally be built in Poole in Dorset, in the premises where Lush Cosmetics would have opened a new plant before moving the production to Germany due to Brexit. 58% of the population of Poole voted for Brexit, so they would be sure to appreciate it. Plus, as a museum of cultural and historical importance, it might even be possible to get some EU regional funds to build the thing – providing no flag is flown of course (suggestion 4)).
22) Ban all orchestras in the UK from playing Beethoven’s 9th
Get rid of the flags was suggestion 4), but what about the EU’s despised anthem, Ode to Joy (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony)? Any orchestra that takes funds from the UK government should be banned from playing it, and must be mandated to play Jerusalem or something by Elgar instead.
23) Remove Dieu et mon Droit from all coats of arms
It might be on the Coat of Arms of the beloved Royal Family (and even on British passports – see suggestion 2)), but Dieu et mon Droit is French! This is simply unacceptable – it is too European. You can even sign a UK Parliament petition about the matter – get that European language away from British royals and off British passports.
24) Send an unknown diplomat to be European Commissioner
Neil Kinnock, Chris Patten and Peter Mandelson were household names before becoming European Commissioners. Even Cathy Ashton and Jonathan Hill had been Minister and sat in the House of Lords. But now the UK government has surpassed itself – for years it bemoaned the grey bureaucrats in Brussels, and then it itself sent a grey diplomat no-one has heard of (or, probably, will hear from – all the better!) to be its Commissioner – Sir Julian King, former UK Ambassador to Paris. He ought to be so nondescript that no-one will even notice the UK even has a Commissioner. Which is just how the Brexiteers like it.
This post – like the one for the first 12 reasons – draws on plenty of suggestions from across social media. Tweets from @ottocrat and @martinehuberty helped on Parmo, @RandallBroman gave the idea for the Brexit Museum (although I changed its location!), and @cliodiaspora and @AlynSmithMEP helped with ‘opportunities’.
Photo Rights – all Creative Commons Licensed
Thumbs up! by Kristian Niemi, November 13, 2011 – source
17082006133 by Robin Hamman, August 17, 2006 – source
DSCF1124.jpg by Jon Large, August 5, 2005 – source
Dirty Plug by Richard Paterson, September 1, 2008 – source
Pounds,Shillings & Pence by Alan Cottam, February 2, 2009 – source
Cup of Tea by Nic Taylor, July 18, 2014 – source
Parmo Pre Cook by Joe Mott, September 21, 2009 – source
Telephone Operator by Charlene N Simmons, January 13, 2012 – source
[15/365] Museum Entrance sign by Selena N. B. H., January 15, 2012 – source
Orchestra by Henry Burrows, May 23, 2004 – source
Dieu et mon Droit coat of arms, public domain from Wikipedia – source
Julian King en el Real Instituto Elcano by UK in Spain, October 8, 2014 – source
Compulsory separate taps?
La Reyne le veult?
Re. #23: French is also the language used for menus in all official dinners at Buckingham Palace, so you would have to change that too. Of course, “confit de canard” or “crêpe suzette” don’t really have a good English equivalent so they would have to be given up altogether, but hey, it’s a small price to pay
Teesside: double ‘s’ (at the side of the Tees).
While you’re at it, why not make an Act of Parliament that requires all French people to drive on the left, in France?